Today – May 5th, we are asked to wear Red in memory of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women. It is a simple gesture, a bold colour to mark a tragedy that we may have heard about, yet we do not necessarily see.
Many of you might not resonate with this story – the many young female lives lost or gone missing. They themselves, are not seen, which is part of the problem.
With Humboldt we go it. Many of us have sat in rinks, watching our kids play, with dreams of the NHL. When the Broncos bus crashed, we could resonate with those broken dreams, the lives lost. We put on our jerseys in mourning, our hockey sticks out in solidarity, connecting to the game we love, and sending love to the families and community affected.
In Toronto, with the outrageous act violence we witnessed on Yonge St, that pain was furthered. Again, community efforts to connect in love and compassion were strong.
Today we are asked to do the same, with a simple gesture of wearing red. Maybe you cannot relate to this tragedy. Maybe the thought and numbers are too overwhelming to even fathom. Though our homes are on this Native Land, many of us have never met or made friends with the original keepers of this territory.
As a physician, I have had the honour to work with and provide care to many young indigenous women. When they were sitting in my office, or laying on my exam table, it was always clear to me that they did not have the life or opportunities that I had. If you could see how they were treated, how others disrespected them, hurt them in the most vulnerable places and ways. You would be outraged. I am outraged. My colleagues are outraged. And yet, so many of these women still stand with resilience.
Please honour those lives today. Stand with your sisters and wear red. Let us make this tragedy visible, and commit to end action against violence against all - in thought, speech, and action.
#MMIWG #MMIG #NationalDayofAwareness