Marches, vigil aim to draw attention to Missing and Murdered Indigenous People

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A pair of events aimed at drawing attention to Missing and Murdered Indigenous Men, Women and Children are taking place in the Chaleur Region this week.

On Wednesday evening at 6pm, a vigil will take place at the Pabineau First Nation Health Centre followed by a march.

Pabineau First Nation education director Savannah Simmons says Indigenous people have a 'target on their back' and are at a higher risk of violence and homicide than other groups.

Simmons says the events are a way for people to come together to pay their respects to Indigenous people who have gone missing, were murdered, who have been found, and who continue to face struggles.

She hopes those who participate will leave with a greater understanding of why such events need to take place.

Meanwhile, on Thursday Off-Reserve Indigenous Outreach Services will host its second annual March for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, and Children at Bathurst City Hall beginning at 11am.

In addition to honouring missing and murdered women and children, Off-Reserve Indigenous Outreach Services' Starr Halka-Glazier says this year's march will also include men.

Although homicide rates for Indigenous females are several times higher than those of other cultures, Halka-Glazier says they are alarmingly higher for Indigenous men as well.

She says violence involving Indigenous people is not restricted to gender and that choosing to remember all Indigenous people helps to end stereotypes, gender bias beliefs, and discrimination.