Women from a northern Alberta First Nation are holding a protest march to demand the resignation of their chief after he was charged with three counts of sexual assault.
“We can no longer tolerate this hypocrisy,” the Alexander Women Warriors said in a statement to Global News. “He makes a mockery of the issues that continue to harm indigenous women.”
Alexander First Nation Chief Kurt Burnstick is facing two charges of sexual assault and one charge of breaking and entering for attacks that allegedly happened in 1985. He has also been charged with sexual assault after an investigation that began in December 2015, according to Morinville RCMP.
RCMP told the St. Albert Gazette that another sexual harassment complaint was investigated, but no charges were laid.
"He makes a mockery of the issues that continue to harm indigenous women."
The Women Warriors are concerned that Burnstick is representing the community publicly, especially when it comes to issues of violence against women, Metro News reported.
"He needs to step down and deal with what he's dealing with, and send a message to other nations and other women that they do have a voice," group spokeswoman Janet Campbell told the Edmonton Journal.
The Women Warriors are planning a rally on the First Nation on Thursday morning. The group will wear red to represent missing and murdered indigenous women.
Alexander First Nation has just over 1,000 residents and is located north of Edmonton.
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On Oct. 4, 2015, Canadians gathered to mark MMIW National Day of Remembrance by hanging red dresses outside their home, or wearing one as they went about their day. Here are some of the REDress project's most striking photos:
"Red Dress Project, Nunavut. #mmiw #redress #redressNU. If you see the need for an inquiry, hang a red dress today" - @Laakkuluk, Twitter
"Walking through Beacon Hill Park tonight I came across a solemn chorus of red dresses hanging from trees 💔 The REDress Project raises awareness for missing & murdered indigenous women across Canada. Created by artist Jaime Black, it is part of the Sisters in Spirit vigils held October 4th each year 🌹" - @dawnpearcey, Instagram
"October 4 • Red Dress Project • || photo by @elizabethgadd • I like to imagine the spirits of those lost are as peaceful and free as this photo appears; one with the land and the animals. #reddressproject #canada #stopharper #nomorestolensisters" - @aiyanajane, Instagram
"On Oct. 4 hang a red dress outside their home, or wear one as they go about their day. 'Through the installation I hope to draw attention to the gendered and racialized nature of violent crimes against Aboriginal women and to evoke a presence through the marking of absence,' http://www.theredressproject.org" - @rita_bear, Instagram
"Honored to have participated #NationalDayofAction for Murdered & Missing Indigenous Women #MMIW 1200 documented cases across Canada 200 rallies & vigils held this Oct. 4 Butterfly bouquet lay on the steps of the Manitoba legislative blg." - @digitalparrish, Instagram
"Seeing red. ❤️ The Red Dress Project raises awareness for the more than 1000 missing and murdered aboriginal women from across the country." - @erinnicoledavis, Instagram
"#reddressproject #ryerson #nomorestolensisters" - @siobhancassidy, Instagram
"May I have your attention, please. #MMIW #RedDressProject" - @nereatorres, Instagram
"#REDress - Downtown Halifax #MMIW #MMIWG2S #InquiryNow #cdnpoli #IndigenousLivesMatter " - @AylanX, Twitter