Indigenous

Montreal Metro ride a 'silent protest' to honour missing, murdered Indigenous women

Attendees of a gathering and community feast to honour the lives of missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls and two-spirit people will be taking their message to Montreal's subway system during Thursday's rush hour.

Gathering one of many MMIWG events being held on Valentine's Day across the country

People gather at Berri-UQAM station in Montreal for an event to raise awareness of missing and murdered Indigenous women on Thursday. (Jessica Deer/CBC)

Attendees of a gathering and community feast to honour the lives of missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls and two-spirit people will be taking their message to Montreal's subway system during Thursday's rush hour.

It's a part of an event called Love in Action happening at Dawson College. Attendees are encouraged to meet at a downtown station and travel together to the gathering on the city's Metro system wearing red and carrying posters to raise awareness of the Indigenous women who have gone missing or were murdered across Quebec. 

"The Metro ride is like a silent protest," said Dayna Danger, programming and campaigns co-ordinator at the Centre for Gender Advocacy.

"It is to bring awareness to an issue that continues to go on. We're always thinking of strategies to get the non-Indigenous public to recognize their complicity on this land and what that means for Indigenous people."

The national inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls is expected to submit its final report in April. But Danger said concrete means have yet to be put in place to address systemic causes to violence against Indigenous women.

"There is this level of education that still needs to be done. This is something hopefully that they [Metro riders] take the time to notice," she said.

"We very much want them to know about this issue, to care, and that this is something that needs to be changed."

The demonstrators were then travelling to an event at Dawson College. (Jessica Deer/CBC)

Valentine's Day events

Love in Action is one of many events happening in cities across the country on Valentine's Day to honour and remember missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls.

The first Valentine's Day Women's Memorial March was held in Vancouver in 1992 by a group of Indigenous women and frontline workers in response to the murder of an Indigenous woman in that city. Since then, Valentine's Day marches, vigils and gatherings have taken place in cities across Canada.

Missing Justice, a solidarity campaign of Centre for Gender Advocacy, has organized a event in Montreal for the last 10 years. They're calling for support for resources available in the city for Indigenous people, such as the Native Women Shelter of Montreal's Iskweu project and Project Autochtone of Quebec.

The project aims to reduce barriers and provide support to obtain adequate response from institutions when a person goes missing.

About the Author

Jessica Deer

Journalist

Jessica Deer is Kanien’kehá:ka from Kahnawake. She works in CBC's Indigenous unit based in Montreal. Email her at jessica.deer@cbc.ca or follow her on Twitter @Kanhehsiio.