It’s time for community to build our own structures independent of government and institutional funding. The purpose of this database is to our honour our women and provide family members with a way to document their loved ones passing while asserting community control of our own record-keeping.
The database will document Indigenous women, Two-Spirit and Trans people who have gone missing, or died as a result of violence. This could include murder, manslaughter, accidental and suicide, as well as deaths which families and communities have deemed suspicious and are unsolved or for whom answers or justice have yet to be found.
Over the years there have been many people who have taken up this issue in many different ways – not just numbers. This includes advocacy from the grassroots and community level as well as provincial and federal government policy changes and legislation. There has been many recommendations, reports and research done on what prevents violence in Indigenous communities. However, a lot of this work did not centralize or sometimes even include those most affected by violence – families, communities, and individuals who had experienced violence and its consequences first hand.
As more media began to pay attention to the issues and the Memorial Marches spread to more cities and got larger – many people across the US and Canada started taking action and continue to do so.
As grassroots organizations in collaboration on this project we are connected to the many legacies behind this ongoing work – we hope the initiation of a community-led database will open up a space for local and regional advocates, activists and families a place to share information about deaths that have occurred but also honour the lives of those we’ve lost.