On February 14th 2021, the 15th annual local Memorial March for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and 2 Spirit (MMIWG2s+) took place virtually this year in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario. This event is for people of the community to gather together and honor the lives of the many MMIWG2S+ people, and support the families of those affected.
Indigenous people make up 4% of Canadian population, yet Indigenous women account for 16% of the number of national murders.
Local volunteers spent the days prior to the march lining Queen street with traditional coloured ribbons: yellow, red, black and white. These colours represent many things in Indigenous teachings, in this case, it is meant to signal balance in community healing.
“The ribbons are a way to have the community pause and reflect, to say that we are still here,” was a quote from the video posted to social media. The display of ribbons leads the way to the visual art display at 180 Gore Street, where a number of artists have contributed to filling the street windows with art honouring MMIWG2S+.
This colourful takeover of downtown will continue until March 9 2021, on the International Day of Women.
The MMIWG2S+SSM 2021 Video will included messages from community leaders and impacted families. It was broadcast on ONNTV and SaultOnline on Sunday February 14, 2021 at 12 pm.
*Article edited, previously stated that the march took place along Queen Street. This year all events took place virtually to adhere to COVID guidelines.