Marking 20 years
of bold journalism,
reader supported.
Rights + Justice

At Women's March, Hope and Heartache as National Inquiry Begins

Justice minister joins misty Vancouver ceremony honouring missing and murdered.

Mychaylo Prystupa 15 Feb

Mychaylo Prystupa is a veteran journalist with a focus on energy and politics. Find his stories for The Tyee here.

Canada's commitment to a national inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women brought hope and heartache to the country's largest and longest-running march to honour the dead and disappeared.

The Tyee sought reflections from families, advocates and political leaders at the 26th annual Downtown Eastside Women's Memorial March. Watch the video above for those scenes from yesterday's ceremony.

"I am hopeful," Tsleil-Waututh leader Carleen Thomas told a crowd outside Vancouver's Carnegie Community Centre. "With this Liberal government, we have the first Aboriginal woman attorney general. We have to send up all our positive energy to her.... She is fighting a centuries-old system."

582px version of EldersMemorialMarch_610px.jpg

Elders at the front of the annual Downtown Eastside Women's Memorial March in Vancouver on Sunday. Photo by Mychaylo Prystupa.

Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould acknowledged decades of advocacy that put missing women in the national spotlight.

"All of the women and advocates that are standing around in this circle have been working hard over many years," Wilson-Raybould told The Tyee. "It's because of all their efforts not only in Vancouver but across this country that we have a national inquiry."

582px version of WilsonRaybouldMarch_610px.jpg

Canada's Justice Minister Jody Wilson-Raybould and Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson attend Sunday's ceremony. Photo by Mychaylo Prystupa.

As the federal government begins cross-country meetings with families and stakeholders, one organizer questioned why some Vancouver voices have not yet been heard.

"The majority of the people here haven't been included," Musqueam activist Audrey Siegl said. "I don't really see a lot of inclusion of Downtown Eastside people."

582px version of AudreySieglMarch_610px.jpg

Musqueam activist Audrey Siegl calls for wider inclusion in national inquiry process. Photo by Mychaylo Prystupa.

582px version of Sut-lutAntoneMarch_610px.jpg

Gone but not forgotten: Sut-lut Antone remembers murdered daughter Cassandra. Photo by Mychaylo Prystupa.

Watch the above video for more reflections by families and Indigenous elders.  [Tyee]

  • Share:

Get The Tyee's Daily Catch, our free daily newsletter.

Tyee Commenting Guidelines

Comments that violate guidelines risk being deleted, and violations may result in a temporary or permanent user ban. Maintain the spirit of good conversation to stay in the discussion.
*Please note The Tyee is not a forum for spreading misinformation about COVID-19, denying its existence or minimizing its risk to public health.


  • Be thoughtful about how your words may affect the communities you are addressing. Language matters
  • Challenge arguments, not commenters
  • Flag trolls and guideline violations
  • Treat all with respect and curiosity, learn from differences of opinion
  • Verify facts, debunk rumours, point out logical fallacies
  • Add context and background
  • Note typos and reporting blind spots
  • Stay on topic

Do not:

  • Use sexist, classist, racist, homophobic or transphobic language
  • Ridicule, misgender, bully, threaten, name call, troll or wish harm on others
  • Personally attack authors or contributors
  • Spread misinformation or perpetuate conspiracies
  • Libel, defame or publish falsehoods
  • Attempt to guess other commenters’ real-life identities
  • Post links without providing context

Most Popular

Most Commented

Most Emailed


The Barometer

Do You Agree with BC’s Decriminalization Rollback?

Take this week's poll