04/02/2015 04:43 EDT | Updated 04/03/2015 08:59 EDT

Cindy Gladue Case: Rallies Across Canada Seek Justice For Slain Aboriginal Woman

Canadians came together Thursday to protest the acquittal of the man accused of murdering Cindy Gladue, an aboriginal woman from Edmonton.

Protests were planned across the country, and thousands of people turned out to send the message that aboriginal lives matter.

Hours before the protests, Alberta prosecutors announced they will appeal the acquittal of Ontario trucker Bradley Barton, who was charged with Gladue's slaying. A jury found him not guilty in March of first-degree murder.

The 36-year-old prostitute bled to death in a motel bathtub in 2011.

Thursday's protests were staged in 15 Canadian cities from Victoria to St. John's; #JusticeForCindyGladue was also trending on Twitter.

Manitoba MP Niki Ashton stood up in the House Of Commons to support the protests:

Below is a selection of some of the most powerful photos from the rallies:

With files from The Canadian Press


Photo gallery Canada's Missing Aboriginal Women See Gallery