03/02/2014 05:56 EST | Updated 05/02/2014 05:59 EDT

Group planning vigil to call for inquiry into murdered native women

HALIFAX - A vigil is being planned in Ottawa in memory of Loretta Saunders and to call for a national inquiry into missing and murdered aboriginal women.

Cheryl Maloney, president of the Nova Scotia Native Women's Association in Halifax, is helping organize the event Wednesday on Parliament Hill.

Maloney says she wants the federal government to look into the issue of the hundreds of native Canadian women who have disappeared or been killed over the last two decades.

Saunders, a 26-year-old Inuit student at Saint Mary's University in Halifax, disappeared on Feb. 13 after going to check on an apartment in the city.

Two people have been charged with first-degree murder in her death after her body was found on the side of a New Brunswick highway last week.

Maloney and Saunders's family have said they're disappointed the federal government hasn't launched an inquiry or drafted an action plan on the issue.

Several relatives said her life and loss have drawn attention to the issue of violence against native women and they hoped that would not be forgotten.