Vigil for Loretta Saunders Hoped to Result in Federal Inquiry

A native group, Nova Scotia Native Women’s Association, recently claimed that it hopes that the vigil planned on Wednesday in Ottawa to remember the young Inuit woman found slain on the side of a New Brunswick highway, Loretta Saunders, will convince the federal government to consider a public inquiry into the murders of aboriginal women.

The president of the association, Cheryl Maloney, mentioned in a statement that the death of Loretta Saunders ignited extraordinary concern in both aboriginal and non-native Canadians who feel the issue deserves greater attention. Maloney stated that “I think that Loretta’s case broke through a lot of stereotypes of what missing and murdered aboriginal women look like in this country.” According to Halifax police, the Saint Mary’s University student was killed on Feb. 13 at a Halifax apartment she once shared with the two people charged with first-degree murder in her death. According to Saunders 26-year-old woman boyfriend, she was on her way that day to check on the apartment that she was subletting to the couple.

Police found Saunders’s body two weeks later on in the middle of Trans-Canada Highway west of Moncton, N.B. Maloney claims that her death is a reminder of all the native women that are dying violently for a variety of reasons that need deeper examination. She stated that Saunders’s thesis on missing and murdered aboriginal women wasn’t restricted to those living at risk. Maloney also added that “we talked about three cases in Nova Scotia near me,” and “only one of them was living a risky lifestyle.”

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