Call a public inquiry into hundreds of missing and murdered Aboriginal women like my cousin Loretta Saunders
  • Petitioning Hon. Kellie Leitch, Minister for the Status of Women
  • Responded

This petition will be delivered to:

Hon. Kellie Leitch, Minister for the Status of Women
Minister of Aboriginal Affairs
Hon. Bernard Valcourt
Liberal Critic, Aboriginal Affairs
Dr. Carolyn Bennett, Member of Parliament, St. Paul's
See response
NDP Opposition Critic, Status of Women
Niki Ashton, Member of Parliament, Churchill
See response

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

    1. Holly Jarrett
    2. Petition by

      Holly Jarrett

      Cornwall, Canada

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 1186 missing or murdered Aboriginal women she was fighting for. It is time for our government to address this epidemic of violence against Aboriginal women.

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
Dr. Carolyn Bennett, Member of Parliament, St. Paul's, Liberal Critic, Aboriginal Affairs
Niki Ashton, Member of Parliament, Churchill, NDP Opposition Critic, Status of Women
Call a public inquiry into the hundreds of cases of missing and murdered Aboriginal women in Canada

Sincerely,
[Your name]

Recent signatures

    News

    1. CONGRATULATIONS PETITIONERS!!!

      Holly Jarrett
      Petition Organizer

      Thank you all so much for your offering of support and kindness and unity to all of our families and community members across Canada in recognizing that the issue of Missing and Murdered Aboriginal Women in Canada MUST be addressed with a thorough and comprehensive National Public Inquiry.

      In NO way does this mean that we are not expecting ACTION at the same time, which seems to be this conservative governments ONLY position other than this is JUST a crime and not a sociological issue.

      Your support and ALL of the premiers and National Aboriginal Organizations sitting down and speaking and agreeing to discuss this issue at a RoundTable as a way to move forward, along with the horrendous news of Tina Fontaines body being found in a river in Winnipeg has led me to launch an online social media campaign called AIN – Am I Next? The word “AIN” is a word we use in Inuktitut, the language of my people, the Inuit of Canada. It is a term of tender affectionate endearment and ONLY used when we are speaking to a cherished loved one in loving recognition of who they are and what they mean to us.

      You may have already seen the selfies people are taking and posting with a sign that says “AM I NEXT?” on twitter and facebook. If not you are all welcome to check out my public Facebook profile and/or my twitter account at @HollyForChange. It’s simple, you take a selfie or group photo holding a sign you make on your own posing the question “Am I Next?”. Some have chosen to support this campaign by being creative with their signs saying “who’s next” or “I will not be next”. Please take your selfies and post them at either of the social media accounts listed above or on your own social media account. Lorettas last cover photo on her facebook page was “Speak the truth, even if your voice shakes”. And my dear girl watches over us while we carry on, doing just that, in her memory.

      The Campaign is growing like wildfire and the media coverage is very extensive reaching into Europe through the BBC and we have had calls from Washington and of course all of the four Broadcasting stations here in Canada. MORE importantly, regular citizens of every creed in Canada are being made aware of the atrocities families like mine have been facing for many years as our Aboriginal Women’s demographic slowly dwindling, and we are doing really well at putting the pressure on our senior government officials in the Conservative Party to listen to our cries for a National Public Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Aboriginal Women. We have received LOADS of support from every party in Canada EXCEPT the Conservatives.

      To Date, Neither Stephen Harper our Prime Minister nor Kellie Lietch, Canadian Minister in Pariament on the Status of Women (One of Harpers Conservative Members of Parliament) has contacted anyone involved with this petition, myself or the senior government ministers in support of this call for an inquiry.

      Again, THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU, we are getting closer to our goal, and it ALL started with ALL of YOU! So please be very proud of yourselves because TOGETHER we are creating change.

      In Honor and Loving Memory of all of our Missing and Murdered Women and Girls,
      Holly Jarrett

    2. Update from Holly Jarrett: "Moving forward for Loretta"

      Pascal Zamprelli
      Communications Director, Canada

      Hello everyone,

      I wanted to take a moment to thank you all once again for supporting calls for a public inquiry into missing and murdered aboriginal women in Canada, which grow louder every day.
      I also want to let you know about some of the next steps we’re planning for this campaign.

      Since the murder of my cousin Loretta Saunders, I’ve made it my mission to make as many Canadians aware of the real issues that aboriginal women face every day, the same issues affect the entire nation. Now, with the support of over 300,000 people, we’re ready to demand answers from Stephen Harper. And we have a plan to convince him to meet with me.

      Soon, I’ll be hitting the road with a film crew to investigate Loretta’s death and examine the many cases of missing Aboriginal women and to tell the stories of these women who can no longer tell their own. We’ll be traveling across the country, from Newfoundland and Labrador to British Columbia, to interview loved-ones, witnesses, and policy-makers and show Canadians all the circumstances that are affecting Aboriginal women every day, and contributing to this tragic epidemic. We’ll eventually get to Ottawa, where I hope the Prime Minister will agree to look at all the end evidence we’ve collected, and re-consider his opposition to a public inquiry.

      My wish is that this documentary will give a fair perspective and an honest look at the socio-economic factors that affect Canadians as a whole, but also show what can happen when we start opening up about serious, very real issues faced by our entire society, real legitimate factors that are leaving our young women and mothers missing and dead. This documentary will show how these issues have evolved, and how all Canadians as a whole, alongside all of our Indigenous populations, and populations and policy makers from around the world come together and unite in supporting the need for a national inquiry into missing and murdered indigenous women in Canada.

      Shortly after Loretta's death, I had a conversation with Dr. Darryl Leroux, Loretta’s thesis supervisor from St.Mary’s University where she was scheduled to graduate in May (her parents accepted her degree on her behalf, posthumously). I asked him about Loretta’s thesis and her work as his student, and very directly what he thought Loretta wanted to do with her thesis. Professor Leroux told me about what a gifted writer Loretta was, and that she was eloquent with her words concerning the depth of the issue she understood she was writing about, and how it personally affected not just her but every young Aboriginal woman like her. He knew she wanted to write a book, and that she wanted a national inquiry to happen.

      This documentary will be in memory of Loretta and her spirit, to move forward for a better future for our children and youth, our women, our communities, and our country.

      I believe Loretta was right and just in her belief in sharing her story to inspire the many more like us out there to stand up and speak out. She was prepared to share her story honestly. I hope to share these stories not from my own perspective, but as a part of a sisterhood, the same sisterhood Loretta belonged to,part of the brotherhood and sisterhood of nations that all call Canada home. I believe that through this perspective, Canadians will understand how this issue, that my cousin recognized so strongly, affects every one of us from coast to coast to coast.

      I’ll write again soon with more details about this project. Thank you all for your continued support, it has sincerely served as an inspiration to me and our family.

      With great sincerity,
      Holly Jarrett

    3. Reached 300,000 signatures
    4. Decision-maker Dr. Carolyn Bennett, Member of Parliament, St. Paul's responds:

      Dr. Carolyn Bennett, Member of Parliament, St. Paul's

      I wish to extend my sincere condolences to the friends and family of Loretta Saunders. I want them to know that Canadians stand shoulder to shoulder with them and share in their grief and outrage.

      Her family and friends have been very...


    5. Reached 200,000 signatures
    6. Decision-maker Niki Ashton, Member of Parliament, Churchill responds:

      Niki Ashton, Member of Parliament, Churchill

      New Democrats mourn alongside the family of Loretta Saunders. The death of this young Inuk woman, who was so dedicated to her community is truly devastating. Indigenous women are sending a clear message to the Conservative Government: The...


    7. Reached 50,000 signatures

    Supporters

    @robinstrasser

    Mar 08, 2014

    Status of Women: Call a public inquiry 100's of missing & murdered Aboriginal women: Loretta Saunders http://t.co/YNY5y4F9GW via @CdnChange

    robin strasser
    16.9k followers

    @MargaretAtwood

    Mar 07, 2014

    Needed! Call a public inquiry into hundreds of missing+murdered Aboriginal women like Loretta Saunders http://t.co/c8mdv0h2FL via @CdnChange

    Margaret E. Atwood
    475k followers

    Reasons for signing

    • april p pratt PRINCE ALBERT, CANADA
      • about 15 hours ago

      I'm Indian

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Sarah Magnan OTTAWA, CANADA
      • about 21 hours ago

      I'm signing because this needs to end

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Carl Castonguay ST-RéDEMPTEUR, CANADA
      • about 21 hours ago

      C'est une situation inacceptable

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
      • about 24 hours ago

      I loath violence

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:
    • Cody Joshua Ferris SAINT JOHN, CANADA
      • 1 day ago

      Harper's Government continues to ignore aboriginals .

      REPORT THIS COMMENT:

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