EDMONTON – On Saturday, hundreds of people took part in the Stolen Sisters Awareness Walk in Edmonton.
“We are gathering to create awareness about the disproportionate number of First Nations, Métis and Inuit missing and murdered Indigenous women and men,” said Amanda Gould, a Sisters in Spirit co-organizer.
“According to the RCMP report, there are 1,181 missing and murdered Aboriginal women… since the 80s.”
“The numbers have risen since then,” said Gould.
Reports suggest Indigenous women aged 25-44 are five times more likely than other Canadian women of the same age to die in violence.
“Am I next? I don’t want to be next,” said Gould. “I don’t want anyone I know to be next. I’ve lost four people.”
Alberta Liberal Leader and Aboriginal Relations Critic Raj Sherman attended the walk. He’s calling for a national public inquiry into the murdered and missing Aboriginal women.
“I join in their call for a national public inquiry,” he said. “I stand in solidarity with Alberta’s First Nations community as they work to get justice.”
The event started with a rally on Boyle Street and the participants walked to the Alberta Legislature.
The Native Women’s Association of Canada launched the national Sisters in Spirit Campaign in March 2004 to make more people aware of the high rates of violence against Aboriginal women in Canada.
This is the eighth year the Stolen Sisters Awareness Walk has taken place in Edmonton.