Concern grows for native women

A growing chorus of voices is calling for a provincial task force into missing aboriginal women in Manitoba after another young woman’s body was discovered on the outskirts of Winnipeg.

WINNIPEG — A growing chorus of voices is calling for a provincial task force into missing aboriginal women in Manitoba after another young woman’s body was discovered on the outskirts of Winnipeg.

Police are treating 18-year-old Hillary Angel Wilson’s death as a homicide but have said little else since her body was found last Thursday. Her death comes one month after her 17-year-old friend, Cherisse Houle, was found dead in a creek near Winnipeg.

The deaths have left friends uneasy and have many calling for a task force to examine why so many young aboriginal women are going missing or are being found murdered.

“It’s been two months and I don’t even know what happened to my little cousin,” said a relative of Houle’s who did not want her name used. “How many more young girls have to go missing and/or murdered for the government or the police to give a shit. They think because they found the bodies and we got to bury them, that’s good enough? . . . We want answers.”

Natasha Lavallee, a friend of both Houle and Wilson, said people in her circle of friends are living in fear and wondering which one of them will be next.

“Everyone’s really scared,” said Lavallee, 20. “It’s happening to the same group of girls, our friends. It’s happened so often . . . Both of them were good people. They were human beings and they shouldn’t be judged.”

Advocates say there are dozens of unsolved cases involving missing aboriginal women in Manitoba and it will take a task force for these disappearances to be taken seriously.

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