Stand-in marks National Day of Awareness for Missing and Murdered Native Women and Girls

Members of Cowichan Tribes and other residents of the Cowichan Valley gather on Saturday, May 9 to remember missing and murdered Indigenous women in Canada. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)Members of Cowichan Tribes and other residents of the Cowichan Valley gather on Saturday, May 9 to remember missing and murdered Indigenous women in Canada. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Members of Cowichan Tribes and other residents of the Cowichan Valley gather on Saturday, May 9 to remember missing and murdered Indigenous women in Canada. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)Members of Cowichan Tribes and other residents of the Cowichan Valley gather on Saturday, May 9 to remember missing and murdered Indigenous women in Canada. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Members of Cowichan Tribes and other residents of the Cowichan Valley gather on Saturday, May 9 to remember missing and murdered Indigenous women in Canada. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)Members of Cowichan Tribes and other residents of the Cowichan Valley gather on Saturday, May 9 to remember missing and murdered Indigenous women in Canada. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Members of Cowichan Tribes and other residents of the Cowichan Valley gather on Saturday, May 9 to remember missing and murdered Indigenous women in Canada. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)Members of Cowichan Tribes and other residents of the Cowichan Valley gather on Saturday, May 9 to remember missing and murdered Indigenous women in Canada. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Members of Cowichan Tribes and other residents of the Cowichan Valley gather on Saturday, May 9 to remember missing and murdered Indigenous women in Canada. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)Members of Cowichan Tribes and other residents of the Cowichan Valley gather on Saturday, May 9 to remember missing and murdered Indigenous women in Canada. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)
Members of Cowichan Tribes and other residents of the Cowichan Valley gather on Saturday, May 9 to remember missing and murdered Indigenous women in Canada. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)Members of Cowichan Tribes and other residents of the Cowichan Valley gather on Saturday, May 9 to remember missing and murdered Indigenous women in Canada. (Kevin Rothbauer/Citizen)

An annual memorial for the missing and murdered in the Cowichan Valley had to take a different form this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic, but still drew 40 participants.

The Missing & Murdered Walk for Women, Men & Children Cowichan created by Monica Patsy Jones couldn’t do its usual walk due to social distancing protocols, so instead held a stand-in along the Trans-Canada Highway between Trunk Road and the Silver Bridge at the south end of Duncan.

Members of Cowichan Tribes and other Valley residents dressed in red and had red hands painted on their mouths or across their face masks.

“Participants held signs and pictures of loved ones that have been murdered or gone missing,” said Jeff Leggatt, a co-organizer and head fundraiser of the event. “We stand to be the silent voices of those taken from this earth far too soon so that the public is aware of this ongoing tragedy. We raise our voices to the government, police forces and judicial system so to seek protection, acknowledgment and justice.”

The stand-in was held on Saturday, May 9, scheduled to coincide with the National Day of Awareness for Missing and Murdered Native Women and Girls.

MMIWG