Daughter of murdered woman tells inquiry she fears becoming a statistic

HAPPY VALLEY-GOOSE BAY, N.L. — An Indigenous Newfoundland woman whose mother was murdered in 2002 says she worries she will also become a statistic.

Amena Evans Harlick told her story to the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls during a hearing Thursday in Happy Valley-Goose Bay.

Her mother, Mary Evans Harlick, was just 24 years old when she was strangled to death in 2002. Her body was put in a sleeping bag and left in a crawl space.

Harlick said she worries about the day when the man convicted of her mother’s second-degree murder is released.

“I don’t like feeling scared. I shouldn’t have to feel scared,” she said.

“When I get these feelings of being scared I feel like I’m going to be just another statistic. That’s something that worries me all the time because I don’t want to be another statistic,” Harlick said.

Another witness, Sylvia Murphy, told the inquiry how she and seven siblings were abandoned by their mother and sent to an orphanage that later closed.

Murphy said they then found themselves in a series of foster homes where she and her sister were abused as young girls.

She said her sister was sexually assaulted on a regular basis and was told not to tell anyone.

Murphy said they eventually went to police and gave statements, but investigators said charges could not be laid.

“There has been no justice for us all this time. When that investigator came back and said, we cannot charge them, I felt my whole world fell,” she said.

Murphy also told the inquiry that the federal government is revoking her Indigenous status as a Mi’kmaq, claiming she doesn’t meet the requirements even though she has provided ancestry information.

The issue of women losing status has been a common story across the country as a result of changing circumstances including marrying a non-Indigenous man.

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