Over a dozen cities across Canada are hosting vigils in honour of Loretta Saunders this Thursday and calling for an end to violence against women.
© Facebook photo
Loretta Saunders is pictured in this photo shown on Facebook.
Carmen Adams, co-organizer of the Halifax event set for Grand Parade on Argyle Street at 8 p.m., said people are gathering in 17 places she knows of, including Oslo, Norway.
âThatâs pretty amazing,â Adams said.
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There will be traditional drumming and Delilah Saunders, Lorettaâs sister, is expected to say a few words during the vigil and play a song.
Saunders was an Inuk woman from Labrador and Saint Maryâs University student who was found dead off a New Brunswick highway in late February.
Police have charged her roommates Victoria Henneberry and Blake Leggette with first-degree murder, and allege Saunders was killed in their Cowie Hill Road apartment before the couple drove to Ontario where they were arrested.
Saunders was last seen on Feb.13 and was reported her missing a few days later. Family and friends came to Halifax to join in a search for the 26-year-old until her case was ruled a homicide on Feb.26.
Adams said she didnât know Saunders before she disappeared, but her story impacted her and she helped poster the city with Saundersâ photo.
âEverybody fell in love with her immediately,â Adams said.
She said the fact Saunders was researching murdered and missing Aboriginal women really hit home for her.
The vigil is also a call to end violence against women and Aboriginal women in particular, Adams said. This is âvery importantâ to tie in with Saundersâ memory because that was her goal, âthat is what weâre trying to carry on,â she said.
âPeople are really up in arms, weâre not standing for it anymore,â Adams said. âWe donât know whoâs next. It could be anybody.â
Mayor Mike Savage will raise the Labrador flag on Thursday, and Adams said an Inuk elder is also attending to represent Saundersâ culture.
Calgary, Thunder Bay, Moncton, Ottawa and Happy Valley-Goose Bay are some of the cities in Canada holding vigils.