03/14/2014 05:00 EDT | Updated 05/14/2014 05:59 EDT

Newfoundland joins call for Ottawa to hold inquiry into slain aboriginal women

ST. JOHN'S, N.L. - The leaders of the three main political parties in Newfoundland and Labrador are calling on Ottawa to launch an inquiry into missing and murdered aboriginal women.

The provincial government issued a joint news release Friday with the Opposition Liberals and NDP saying they support an all-party motion that will be introduced in the legislature next week.

The call comes following the death last month of Loretta Saunders, a 26-year-old Inuit woman whose body was found by the side of the Trans-Canada Highway in New Brunswick.

Saunders was a student at Saint Mary's University in Halifax who was working on a thesis project about violence against aboriginal women.

Nova Scotia's political parties supported a similar request to Ottawa earlier this month.

The federal Conservatives have rejected pleas for an inquiry and say they renewed funding to combat violence against aboriginal women in their recent budget.