• Petitioning Hon. Kellie Leitch, Minister for the Status of Women

Call a public inquiry into hundreds of missing and murdered Aboriginal women like my cousin Loretta Saunders

Petition byHolly Jarrett

Cornwall, Canada

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Last month, my cousin Loretta Saunders was murdered at age 26. She was a student at St. Mary’s University in Halifax and was writing her honours thesis on the hundreds of missing and murdered Aboriginal women in Canada.

Our family is Inuit, and Loretta has now become one of the over 800 missing or murdered Aboriginal women she was fighting for. It is time for our government to address this epidemic of violence against Aboriginal women.

Last week, we broke down when we learned Loretta’s body had been found in a ditch beside the Trans-Canada Highway in New Brunswick. Our family is gathering strength and we will not let her death be in vain. We will fight to complete Loretta’s unfinished work.

Please sign this petition and call on Federal Minister for the Status of Women Kellie Leitch to immediately call a public inquiry into missing and murdered Aboriginal women in Canada. The Native Women’s Association of Canada and other groups have worked on this for years and I started this petition to support them and to demand justice for Loretta.

We need to know why it is that Aboriginal girls and women like Loretta are five to seven times more likely to die as a result of violence than non-Aboriginal women.This is what a public inquiry must address immediately so that action can be taken to stop these tragedies and protect aboriginal girls and women in Canada.

The Government has so far ignored calls for a public inquiry. If they don’t act the tragedies will continue.  The epidemic of racist and sexist violence against Aboriginal women in Canada is claiming lives and devastating families each month.

It boils down to a simple question. Does the Canadian Government think it’s a problem that Aboriginal women are 5-7 times more likely to die from a violent attack? Right now, we don’t know. I’m praying that Loretta’s death and tens of thousands calling for the inquiry will finally move them to do the right thing.

I travelled from Labrador to St.Johns with Loretta when she left home.  We talked about our Inuit roots, our family and our pasts and how we looked at our future as an opportunity to create change and different more healthy cycles and family patterns.  We spoke about the topic of aboriginal women going missing and being killed. We joked about how she would change the world, but it wasn’t really a joke at all. Loretta HAS changed the world and. I’m determined that Loretta will continue to change the world.

Please sign this petition and demand justice for Loretta and all Aboriginal women.

As mentioned the Native Women’s Association of Canada has worked on this issue for years and has already collected 23,000 signatures calling for a public inquiry.  Here is a link to their site as well as their document explaining in more detail why a public inquiry is needed. 

To:
Hon. Kellie Leitch, Minister for the Status of Women
Hon. Bernard Valcourt, Minister of Aboriginal Affairs
Call a public inquiry into the hundreds of cases of missing and murdered Aboriginal women in Canada

Sincerely,
[Your name]

Recent signatures

News

  1. Reached 50,000 signatures

Supporters

Reasons for signing

. .
  • Shaheen Junaid POINTE-CLAIRE, CANADA

    Because ALL women are IMPORTANT

  • Flora Riley OTTAWA, CANADA

    Cause I know what it’s like to have a sister murdered. My sister was murdered by her husband my Mother never ever got over it, and I haven’t either. You never get over something like that..having hundreds of missing Aboriginal women is unbelieveable,knowing nothing was done to try and find them and bring them home to their parents..why haven’t anything been done to find those women, and why are we only hearing about this?Loretta’s death will not be in vain.

  • Robert Denomme LONDON, CANADA

    Any crimes against humanity are of great interest to me.

  • nora ford CORNWALL, CANADA

    Loretta was my family member, she died senselessly, like so many aboriginal women who were senselessly murdered and this government has done nothing to address this. It’s time this government implements a full inquiry into our missing and murdered women!!!! NOW!

  • JULIE JARRETT MANITOU BEACH, MI

    This young woman was a cousin to my step kids. She was bound for greatness and was loved by all her family.

Comments
  1. I have to ask if I may re-blog this? Honestly, I was unaware of so much of this information.

    Like

    • Yes, please re-blog this. It is important to Loretta’s family that changes be made, so that her death was not in vain. She had so much to offer including writing her honors thesis on the hundreds of missing and murdered Aboriginal women in Canada. Blessings. ~ Dennis

      Like

  2. This reminds of the situation with Aboriginal people in Australia. We lived in Bowraville on the mid-north coast of New South Wales, infamous for its racist history, and we were shocked to find out that three Aboriginal children had been murdered in the town, everyone knew who the killer was (he still lives and works in NSW and now with Aboriginal kids), but incompetence and indifference by the police and white community means these kids have never had justice. Everyone in Australia knows the names of the Beaumont children who vanished in the ‘fifties, but hardly anyone could name the Aboriginal kids who died 20 years ago.

    Like

  3. Forgive me if I sound ignorant – but how would Aboriginal women be the target of more crime? How would a women be recognized as an Aboriginal? To me she just looks like any girl I could see walking down the street. I live in the United States and am unfamiliar with Aboriginals and their history

    Like

    • Many Aboriginals, Natives, Inuit, or North American Indians are of mixed race (as we all are if we go far back in our ancestry). My two sons are part Mi’kmaq, although it is not apparent. Aboriginals have been discriminated against since the white man first came to North America. Treaties have been broken. Housing and schooling have been below standard. At one time Aboriginal children were taken away from their families and forced to attend residential schools run by various churches. There they suffered abuse which affected them for the rest of their lives. They are discriminated against in employment and in many areas of society. It is a shame on us all. ~ Dennis

      Like

  4. sad…and endlessly disturbing….perhaps, you’ve seen this link as well…aptn.ca/news/2014/03/03/toronto-filmmaker-creates-missing-indigenous-women-database/ …

    Like

    • This link appears to be broken, however, I often watch APTN and visit their website. I have seen other lists of missing indigenous women. This is indeed disturbing, especially to my friends on the street. Nobody feels safe. I am also a sloppy Buddhist. Namaste ~ Dennis

      Like

  5. Basharr says:

    I am saddened to hear of this and I agree it appears to be time to seriously look into it, in fact it is past due. Sorry for your cousin, such a tragic loss.

    Like

  6. M. Zane McClellan says:

    Travesties such as this make me more aware of the lack of civility in the so-called civilized world. I’m sorry for your loss and hope something is done about this deplorable situation. Peace. ~ Michael

    Like

  7. osarobohenry says:

    Reblogged this on osarobohenry and commented:
    Very painful death.

    Like

  8. I am sorry for your loss. I signed your petition. Your cousin was a brave woman. She will not be forgotten.

    Like

  9. Reblogged this on Busy Mind Thinking and commented:
    I asked Dennis for permission to re-blog this. Myself, I was completely unaware of how prevalent this situation is. Please read and make a difference.

    Like

  10. kennymack2 says:

    I just posted a tribute to Loretta Saunders on WordPress and Facebook. I hope to see it on Facebook. A lot of the time instead of the post being published I get a message saying that the post could not be published. Again, my condolences to all who love you and yours.

    Like

  11. The story of Ms. Saunders is indeed one with an ending of tragedy and sorrow. I can’t help but wonder if any government initiative in this regard might not be viewed as an attempted encroachment on native self-goverance sensitivities.

    I do so dislike politics, as it interferes with proper governance. Hopefully some good will ultimately come of this in terms of the statistics for aboriginal women.

    Like

  12. jenusingword says:

    Reblogged this on jenusingword's Blog and commented:
    For Loretta and all women.

    Like

  13. curvygurl5 says:

    Thank you so much for this story. I have never been to Canada and I had no idea of situations like this. But I see it is another case of Violence Against Women and it is so scary. I am thinking of you and I hope something will be done very soon because this is sickening and the violence needs to stop.

    Like

  14. absolutely heartbreaking

    Like

  15. Meeinal says:

    I feel sad to read this😞May Loretta’s soul rest in peace and serve as an example.Stay blessed

    Like

  16. jovisgoes says:

    Reblogged this on Jovisgoes on a Journey and commented:
    Such vileness goes on in so many countries and if in some small way we can help to expose it and shame governments into action then I’ll sign any and all petitions, and gladly re-blog (with your permission of course Dennis). Power to you Dennis.

    Like

  17. jovisgoes says:

    Such vileness goes on in so many countries and if in some small way we can help to expose it and shame governments into action then I’ll sign any and all petitions, and gladly re-blog (with your permission of course Dennis). Power to you Dennis.

    Like

  18. leewriter says:

    Reblogged this on Join the Spiritual Evolution: Live Beyond Your Ego and commented:
    Please consider signing the petition. Thanks.

    Like

  19. bangocrafts says:

    Reblogged this on bangocrafts.

    Like

  20. Sarah says:

    Sorry, when I “liked” this post I forgot to say I signed the petition.

    Like

  21. treyzguy says:

    Wow…..I am so sheltered from the world, even at my age. i never even heard of this, but I know now Dennis.

    Like

  22. treyzguy says:

    Reblogged this on Imagine…. and commented:
    Truly unnerving and terrible. Do what you can please.

    Like

  23. ohnwentsya says:

    Reblogged this on Spirit In Action and commented:
    Thank you for posting this! Everyone please read, sign and share everywhere! This has been going on far too long.

    Like

  24. Jueseppi B. says:

    Reblogged this on The ObamaCrat™.

    Like

  25. peacequility says:

    Deepest sympathy to you and your family. Though I cannot sign a petition, Loretta’s story is traveling.

    Like

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