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Conspiring for Justice: The Stolen Sisters Memorial March 2019

An illustrated image of a person of colour with long back hair standing on a beach looking out at the ocean with text reading, “love is… believing survivors.” Art by @psychobrigade 

 

Happy Valentines day, tender-hearts <3

Today on Valentine’s Day marks the 28th year of marching in remembrance of all the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, girls and 2spirit folks. This originally began after a Coast Salish woman was killed in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver. In 28 years, the numbers of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, girls, and 2spirit people continues to climb and very little is being done by wider society to end this continual and preventable tragedy. This year the Stolen Sisters Memorial March is on February 16th.

This march is led by Indigenous women and 2spirit folks demonstrating the love, anger, grief, resistance, and power that comes from Indigenous women and 2spirit leaders. This is not a time for those of us who aren’t Indigenous to take leadership roles, rather it is a time to listen to Indigenous women, girls, and 2spirit folks -rather than silencing them. This is a time to support, witness, and respect those Indigenous women and 2spirit people who lead the way during both this march and moving forward.

Colonization and lack of consent are inseparable. Colonization is the violent act of taking land that was not surrendered and enforcing ideology onto people who are Indigenous and belong to these lands. Gender, sex, and sexuality as we know it today, are not innate. These are concepts brought in by colonization as one act of ensuring division between people as a mode of control that perpetuates ongoing gender-based violence.

As I walk down the street seeing my exhaled breath wisping away from me in trails of clouds, I think of how my breath joins with the breath of so many others and once again becomes air returned back to the earth. I think of the word ‘conspire.’ Oxford dictionary defines the origins of the word conspire to literally mean ‘to breathe together’ from con– ‘together with’ + spirare– ‘breathe.’ As a white settler on the territories of the Lekwungen speaking people-  I am considering what it would mean to ‘breathe with’ someone? What does it mean to be in solidarity? What does it mean to conspire for the resistance and survival of Indigenous peoples? What are my responsibilities as a settler?

For those who can show up- how will you show up? What will your intentions be? Are you able to allow Indigenous peoples lead the rest of us forward? What does conspiring look like to you?

-Your Trans Inclusion Team

Details on this year’s march

 

When: Saturday, January 16, 2019. Gathering at 11:30am. March begins at noon.

 

Where: Beginning outside Our Place (919 Pandora Ave) and ending at the BC Legislature

 

More Info: Can be found on Facebook under Stolen Sisters Memorial March Victoria 2019