Two marches were held Tuesday to spread awareness about a missing Indigenous woman from Nova Scotia.
Marley Alicia Morris, 24, was last seen Feb. 18 in Dartmouth, N.S. Her father, Fabian Francis, told CBC News he knew something was wrong when she missed her five-year-old son’s birthday on Feb. 21.
Bridget Stevens, an organizer for the march in Dartmouth, said she wanted to get involved after reading mean comments on Francis’s Facebook page.
“Marley is loved … we care about her and we’re hoping people will take notice and come and support us and help us look for her,” said Bridget Stevens, the organizer of the roughly 50-person march in Dartmouth.
Stevens said the disappearance has been very difficult for Morris’s family.
“They do so much for the community, they’re well-known people, everybody loves them — the Morris’s and the Francis’s — they’re always there for everybody and we are here to show everyone how much they’re loved. Everybody cares about these people. We want the world to know Marley matters.”
In Eskasoni, more than a dozen people took part in a sombre walk along Shore Road from the community’s high school to a nearby health centre.
Stephanie Christmas organized the event and said that Morris’s five-year-old son is her second cousin.
“I don’t want him to wonder where his mother is forever, I want him to know his mom — to be with his mom,” Christmas said.
“Even if I stood alone, I was coming down because Marley is my family too. She’s all our family. We’re like a big family in Eskasoni.”
Christmas said that too many Indigenous people go missing in Canada and there’s not enough attention brought to their disappearances.
“It’s just another number. It’s what we feel like; we’re numbers,” she said.
Kateri Stevens drummed at the walk in hopes of raising awareness about Morris’s disappearance.
Stevens said there needs to be more unity in addressing the high rates of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls.
“We need to unite leadership, not just political leadership but anyone involved in any type of activism,” she said. “The accomplishment would be finding this girl, bringing her home back to her family and people knowing her face.”
Morris is described as 5’8 and about 200 lbs. Halifax police said in an emailed statement there’s no evidence to suggest foul play, but they are concerned for her well-being.
Police ask that Morris, or anyone with information on her whereabouts, call 902-490-5020. Anonymous tips can be sent to Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477).