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VANCOUVER, B.C, Jan. 23 – Yesterday marked the beginning of the murder trial of Robert William Pickton. The Native Women’s Association of Canada would at this time like to express its support and deepest sympathies to all of the families who are grieving over their missing or murdered loved ones.
“The trial is a reminder of the crisis in this country that there are so many Aboriginal women missing or murdered across the country. This is not something that we as a society can just turn away from. We need to speak up against the racialized and sexualized violence that women are facing everyday,” said President Beverley Jacobs. Jacobs attended the first day of the trial with Sandra Gagnon, whose sister Janet Henry went missing from the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver in 1997.
“Today, being at the Pickton trial seemed surreal. It’s hard to believe this really happened. The horror that these women must have went through,” said Ms. Gagnon.
It is Sandra Gagnon’s greatest wish that she and her family find their sister. “We need some kind of closure. We can’t even have a memorial for her.”
The horrific and violent details of the murders of women from Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside will be drawn out over the coming year.
“It’s a difficult time and today was just the beginning of a long journey of healing for many of these families,” said President Jacobs. “I feel it’s important that we support the families of the six women, as well as all other families across the country, whom are still waiting news of their family members.”
The tragedy of this epidemic is far reaching beyond Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside. Aboriginal women are the most vulnerable, at-risk population today. Jacobs as well as many NWAC Staff will be attending the trial in support of the families at various times.
For further information: Contact: Linda Kayseas – Media Coordinator,(613) 722-3033, ext. 231 or Mobile: (613) 552-4249
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