02/28/2014 06:46 EST | Updated 04/30/2014 05:59 EDT

People in Labrador asked to wear purple to honour slain university student

HAPPY VALLEY-GOOSE BAY, N.L. - The town council in Happy Valley-Goose Bay is encouraging residents to wear purple today in support of Violence Prevention Month and as a tribute to Loretta Saunders, a former resident who is now the subject of a murder investigation.

Saunders was a university student studying in Halifax.

The young Inuit woman had been working on a thesis on murdered and missing aboriginal women.

Her body was found earlier this week beside a highway in New Brunswick.

The two people accused of killing her are scheduled to appear today in a Halifax courtroom.

Victoria Henneberry and Blake Leggette — both Halifax residents — were charged Thursday with first-degree murder.

Police say they believe Saunders was killed two weeks ago at a Halifax apartment she once shared with the pair.

In Newfoundland and Labrador, Liberal critic Lisa Dempster says the sad reality is that aboriginal women are far more likely to be the victim of violent crime than non-aboriginal women.