Scores march through Vancouver to honour missing and murdered Indigenous men and boys

Dozens of people marched across downtown Vancouver on Friday in honour of missing and murdered Indigenous boys, men, and two-spirit people across the country.

Dozens gathered in Vancouver on Friday for the third annual Missing and Murdered Indigenous Men, Boys, and Two Spirit People Memorial March.

The movement is meant to honour missing and murdered Indigenous men, boys, and two-spirit people across the country.

Eugenia Oudie has participated in the march annually since it began.

“I’m happy that this is happening again,” Oudie told CityNews. “I’m walking for my son that passed away, I’m also walking for other victims of missing and murdered [Indigenous people].”

Oudie says she is still searching for answers nearly a decade after her son’s death.

“We’ve been trying to get my son’s case reinvestigated. There’s a lot of loopholes we found. I still feel that something bad happened to him…he didn’t die by himself, someone put him there,” she said.

According to the BC Coroners Service, Charles Derrick Oudie was found deceased on Sept. 6, 2015. The 26-year-old’s body was discovered upside down in an East Vancouver storm drain.

Statistics Canada data shows that approximately 25 per cent of homicide victims from 2014 to 2022 were Indigenous.

On Friday, dozens of participants in the memorial march initially gathered outside the Vancouver Police Department’s headquarters before marching across the Cambie Street Bridge to Creekside Park in Olympic Village.

“Today [is] about continuing to provide education and awareness about why this has happened and why this keeps happening,” march organizer Curtis Ahenakew said.

Ahenakew says the inspiration for the march focused on Indigenous men, boys, and two-spirit people stemmed from the nationally recognized Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls, and Two-Spirit People march.

“They’ve been doing such wonderful work, and we’re just following their lead. That’s matriarch in nature, that’s one of the moralities of Indigenous people. A woman made decisions and the men followed their lead.”

Ahenakew emphasizes that a crucial aim of this annual march is to raise awareness within mainstream society about the underlying reasons why Indigenous men go missing.

“It’s because of the trauma, they lose their identity, and of course some turn to alcohol and drugs. They leave their communites and they lose touch with their families, but we want to provide that safe place for people to open up about these tragedies that keep happening.”

“[We] need to bring the awarness about men, and boys, and two-spirit…the margin of missing is more than missing women.”

Indigenous men were murdered at more than three times the rate of Indigenous women in 2022, according to national statistics.

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