Skip to main content
Communication, Art + Technology › Communication
SFU Student

empty
Womans memorial march
No matter the colour of your skin, the width of your wallet, your gender identification, sexual preference or religious leanings, this is a human issue.

“The first women’s memorial march was held in 1991 in response to the murder of a Coast Salish woman on Powell Street in Vancouver. Her name is not spoken today out of respect for the wishes of her family. Out of this sense of hopelessness and anger came an annual march on Valentine’s Day to express compassion, community, and caring for all women in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside, Unceded Coast Salish Territories.

Twenty six years later, the women’s memorial march continues to honour the lives of missing and murdered women and all women’s lives lost in the Downtown Eastside. Increasing deaths of many vulnerable women from the DTES still leaves family, friends, loved ones, and community members with an overwhelming sense of grief and loss. Indigenous women disproportionately continue to go missing or be murdered with minimal to no action to address these tragedies or the systemic nature of gendered violence, poverty, racism, or colonialism.” Feb 14th Annual Womens Memorial March: Their Spirits Live Within Us

I have attended several of these march’s over the years and my experience has been one of unity, love and remembrance. Both, men and women take to the streets drumming, singing and walking. Strong in the air is the smell of sage as it fills wheelbarrows along with the smoulder of prayer. It is both solemn and hopeful. It is the acknowledgement of loss, yet the belief in the possibility of our women’s lives being held up, rather than cut short. It is the belief that Canadians from all walks of life will begin to understand our reality as well as stand behind us. 

If you have not attended a march, I would urge you to do so this year. No matter the colour of your skin, the width of your wallet, your gender identification, sexual preference or religious leanings, this is a human issue. The march has a way of eliminating walls and bridging souls. Walking side by side for the purposes of healing is our spirits highest calling, and I assure that you will feel the footsteps of those we’ve lost and those who are missing reverberating in the soles of your feet. 

It is a meeting of soles; of souls, and I promise that you will feel it all. 

SFU Student
Christina Coolidge is currently attending SFU as a graduate student in the department of Communications. She is the Indigenous Program Researcher with the Career Services department. Christina is a member of the Tsleil-Waututh First Nation and her matrilineal ancestry includes Metis (Cree and Scottish) from the Red River area. She hopes to help build a bridge between Indigenous and Non-Indigenous communities in order to better understand one another and to live together in a spirit of unity.

You Might Like These... Career Exploration, Indigenous Community Stories

The olympic torch
Olympic Sized Persistence Pays Off

If there’s someone who knows about the terrifying journey that is the work search, it is Marissa Nahanee. She worked on many world class events, including the 2010 Vancouver Olympic Torch relay and visits by Princes Charles and Edward. But Marissa’s job did not just happen to her - she had to work for it.

A picture of actor Justin Rain standing in front of a grey wall
We’re All Actors: CSI Interviews First Nations Actor Justin Rain

“Whenever there is an opportunity to share my experience with people, it usually doesn’t take much for me to jump on board,” states Justin Rain when I ask him about his experiences at a recent event co-hosted by Career Services and the Indigenous Student Centre, “Indigenous Peoples’ Career Stories.”

An indigenous grass dancer
Indigenous Career Services & The Dance of Success

My name is Mike & I'm originally from Little Black Bear’s Band in the Treaty #4 area. I am in my final year of a First Nations Studies degree. Our goal is to determine ways in which the Career Services team can better serve the indigenous student population.

You Might Like These... Indigenous Career Journey Stories

image of steve smiling
Steve Sxwithul’txw

"Finding my path to success is a cliché. It’s what you are willing to do to sacrifice to get ahead and make a life to which you feel proud of. That is why I continue chasing the dream of being happy and fulfilled.” - Steve Sxwithul’txw

Nalaga O'brian
Haida/Kwakwakw’wakw Artist and Business Owner, Nalaga

Haida/Kwakwakw’wakw artist, Nalaga O'Brien's inspiring journey as she starts her own company and finds her life's purpose.

Jodie smiling
Jodie-Lynn Waddilove: Indigenous Journey Story

Maclean's Magazine named Jodie-Lynn as "One of Canada’s Top 100 Under 30 to watch in the new millennium.” Her career as a lawyer has been nothing but inspirational.