June 19, 2014 1:13 pm

Renewed call for inquiry into missing and murdered aboriginal women

Renewed calls for national inquiry into missing and murdered aboriginal women as walk held in Prince Albert to support Marlene Bird.

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SASKATOON – A provincial organization is renewing calls for a national inquiry into missing and murdered aboriginal women after a homeless woman in Prince Albert, Sask. was assaulted and burned earlier this month.

Marlene Bird, 47, was attacked on June 1 outside a community centre in the northern Saskatchewan city.

She was taken to the University of Alberta Hospital in Edmonton where doctors had to amputate both her legs.

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Tori-Lynn Wanotch from the Saskatchewan Aboriginal Women’s Circle said the attack on Bird is another reason why a national inquiry is needed for missing and murdered aboriginal women.

“A national inquiry would give us a perspective on what’s happening and give the public an idea of what disparities are facing our women,” said Wanotch.

“Marlene, for example, is facing different degrees of homelessness. She’s got a very transient lifestyle.”

One question initially raised after the attack was whether Bird was a drug addict.

“It was found … that she was not,” said Wanotch.

“A national inquiry would break some of those stereotypes that exist. The fact that the question was asked in the first place just shows the stereotypes that exist in the communities.”

Bird faces a long road to recovery and a walk was held in Prince Albert Thursday morning in support of her journey.

The Prince Albert YWCA said it has received donations from across the country for Bird and her family.

Watch below: Tori-Lynn Wanotch on Saskatoon’s Morning News

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