Strawberry Ceremony with Elder Wanda Whitebird begins at 12:30 at Police Headquarters, 40 College Street at Bay, Toronto
Please leave your agency, institutional and organisation banners at home and instead make signs in honour of women, girls, trans and two-spirit people who have died violent and premature deaths.
Singers, song keepers and drummers please bring your drums for the ceremony. Drummers from the organising committee, with the direction of Wanda, will be leading songs. Jingle dress dancers are also called to join on the march. Please contact us if you can participate so protocols can be observed.
We recognise that February is out of season for a ceremony involving strawberries, but the violence we are experiencing is also a disruption in our traditional ways of life.
It might be COLD! Please dress for the weather and we will endeavour to keep ceremony to 1 hour.
Some tokens will be available
There will be a sound system
Media and public attention to this issue has continued to grow since we gathered last year but Indigenous women are still going missing and being murdered. No More Silence has continued to work hard to create a community-owned database in collaboration with Families of Sisters in Spirit and the Native Youth Sexual Health Network in It Starts with Us – the collaboration has also produced these beautiful tributes: http://www.itstartswithus-mmiw.com/tributes
On February 14th we come together in solidarity with the women who started this vigil over 20 years ago in Vancouver’s DTES, and with the marches and rallies that will be taking place across this land. We stand in defense of our lives and to demonstrate against the complicity of the state in the ongoing genocide of Indigenous women and the impunity of state institutions and actors (police, RCMP, coroners’ offices, the courts, and an indifferent federal government) that prevents justice for all Indigenous peoples.
No More Silence began holding ceremony at police headquarters on February 14th 12 years ago. 5 years ago we formed the February 14th Organizing Committee in an effort to broaden community participation in the planning of the event – the committee is now made up of individuals and organizations including The Native Youth Sexual Health Network, Sistering, Maggies – Toronto Sex Workers Action Project and other feminist and Indigenous community organizations.
Please message us if you would like to volunteer, or add to the list of endorsements!
Last year’s ceremony was endorsed by: Aboriginal Legal Services Toronto, Toronto Council Fire Native Cultural Centre, Aboriginal Student Services of George Brown College, Anti-Colonial Committee in the Law Union of Ontario, Muskrat Magazine, Chocolate Woman Collective, Toronto Conference Living Into Right Relations Circle, OCAP, AWCCA – George Brown College, LEAF, The Centre for Women and Trans People at the University of Toronto, OPIRG-Toronto, Toronto Rape Crisis Centre/Multicultural Women against Rape, The Department for Social Justice Education, Ontario Institute for Studies in Education, University of Toronto, OCAP, SASSL, Independent Jewish Voices, NOII-Toronto, Bureau Kensington, Legal Strategy Coalition on Violence Against Indigenous Women (LSC), The Redwood, Toronto York Region Metis Council, Church of the Redeemer, Avenue Rd & Bloor, Community Action Centre of the Student Association at George Brown College, CUPE 3903 First Nations Solidarity Working Group at York, Shameless Magazine, UTSC Women and Trans* Centre, Red Pepper Spectacle, Bold as Love, Aboriginal Studies Program at UofT, Tities Wîcinímintôwak // Bluejays Dancing Together Art Collective
Two-Spirit Skillshare Toronto, Law Union of Ontario, CUPE 3903 First Nations Solidarity Working Group, The Church of St Stephen-in-the-Field, Law Practice of Mary Ebert, Socialist Action, Black Lives Matter Toronto, El-Tawhid Juma Circle Mosques, Bathurst United Church, DAWN Ontario, Rojava Solidarity Collective, Bad Subject, Olthuis Kleer Townshend LLP, Sack Gold Blatt Mitchell LLP, Rising Tide Toronto, 2 Spirited People of The 1st Nations, GTAC Greater Toronto Area Council of Ontario Public Service Employees Union, Students Against Israeli Apartheid at York University, International Womens Day 2015 organizing committee, Steelworkers Toronto Area Council, CUPE Ontario, CUPE Local 3906, OPSEU Greater Toronto Area Council, Toronto350.org, AWID (Association for Women’s Rights in Development), Infinite Reach- Métis Student Network at U of T, Aboriginal Students’ Association at York (ASAY) , The Public Witness Circle of Trinity-St. Paul’s United Church, Sam Gindon Chair at Ryerson University, Idle No More, Toronto, Aboriginal Law Students’ Association, The Indigenous Student Association at Ryerson, Trinity-St. Paul’s, The Community Action Centre at George Brown College, The Aboriginal Law Club at the University of Toronto, University of Toronto Faculty of Law Aboriginal Law, Ontario Federation of Indian Friendship Centres (OFIFC), Trinity-St. Paul’s, The Zeitgest Movement Toronto, The Native Women’s Resource Centre of Toronto Centre, International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network (IJAN) Canada, Women in Solidarity with Palestine (WSP), Stop the Jewish National Fund, Canada, Toronto Seed Library, The Toronto Anarchist Black Cross, The Dream Team , Kapwa Collective, Ryerson Aboriginal Educational Council, Greenpeace Canada, Pantayo Kulintang Ensemble, Parkdale Community Recreation Center (PARC), 90-Day Challenge to End Violence Against Women in Conflict at U of T, Seventh Generation Midwives Toronto, ARK II – Animal Rights Kollective, Elizabeth Fry Society Toronto, Trans Pride Toronto, Arts and Science Students’ Union at U of T, Workers United Canada, Toronto Forum on Cuba, National Aboriginal Council of Midwives, Kwentong Bayan Collective, Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid, Mayworks Festival of Working People and the Art, Survivors of Medical Abuse, The Women’s Coordinating Committee for a Free Wallmapu, Sunday Poetry, United Jewish People’s Order (UJPO), Books-R-Me, Toronto Unity Mosque, Kapwa Collective, The Proletarian Feminist Front Toronto, Abortion Rights Coalition of Canada, Toronto Harm Reduction Workers Union Young Parents No Fixed Address, Rojava Solidarity Basics Newsletter, Association of Part-time Students at U of T, David Suzuki foundation
Financial support by: Community Action Centre of the Student Association at George Brown College, The Redwood, CUPE 3903 First Nations Solidarity Working oGroup at York, CUPE 3903 First Nations Solidarity Working Group, Law Practice of Mary Ebert, Olthuis Kleer Townshend LLP, Sack Gold Blatt Mitchell LLP, GTAC Greater Toronto Area Council of Ontario Public Service Employees Union, OPSEU Greater Toronto Area Council, Public Witness Circle of Trinity-St. Paul’s United Church, Sam Gindon Chair at Ryerson University, Barb Nahwegahbow, Ontario Federation of Indian Friendship Centres (OFIFC), International Jewish Anti-Zionist Network (IJAN) Canada, Women in Solidarity with Palestine (WSP), Aboriginal Council of Midwives,