NEWS

Loretta Saunders vigil being held in Moncton

03/14/2014 04:56 EDT | Updated 05/14/2014 05:59 EDT
A vigil is being held in Moncton tonight to honour the memory of Loretta Saunders, an Inuk student from Halifax who was found slain near Salisbury last month.

Vigil organizer Patti Musgrave hopes the 6:30 p.m. event at the New Brunswick Community College gym will help push the government to hold a national inquiry into missing and murdered aboriginal women.

"As a call to action for all women, we need to step up and raise awareness that this is happening for our young women," said Musgrave, the aboriginal student adviser at NBCC.

"And the most important part was to honour Loretta Saunders as a student as a woman and as an indigenous woman," she said.

Saunders, 26, who was originally from Labrador, was attending Saint Mary's University when she disappeared on Feb. 13.

Her body was discovered two weeks later on a snow-covered median along the Trans-Canada Highway west of Salisbury.

Her two roommates, Victoria Hennebury and Blake Leggette, have been charged with first-degree murder in her death.

Saunders was writing a thesis on murdered and missing aboriginal women before she died.

Pressure is mounting for a national inquiry into missing and murdered aboriginal women. The Native Women's Association of Canada recently presented the federal government with a petition, signed by more than 23,000 people, asking for an inquiry.

Hundreds of people attended a vigil in Ottawa at Parliament Hill on March 5.

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