NationTalk: Edmonton, AB: With the recent news of a Sundre, Alberta man being charged in the 1976 homicide of 16- year-old Pauline Brazeau, Esquao, the Institute for the Advancement of Aboriginal Women, wishes to extend its gratitude to the Alberta RCMP and Calgary Police Services for their determined efforts in solving this 47-year-old cold case and helping to bring some measure of closure to the family of Pauline Brazeau.
Taking advantage of technology and advances in science, police were able to re-analyze this and other cases. Though there is still plenty of work to do as the Native Women’s Association of Canada has reported that out of all the missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls (MMIWG) cases in Canada, Alberta is home to 16 per cent of them, and 42 per cent of those cases remain unsolved.
“The diligence in the efforts of Alberta police forces in bringing a murderer to justice are certainly to be commended,” said Josie Nepinak, President of Esquao’s Board of Directors. “But we must keep in mind that, in the present day, Indigenous women and girls are over-represented among missing and murdered women in Canada.”
The recent news does little to diminish the danger Indigenous women and girls face. As cited in 113 Pathways to Justice: Recommendations of the Alberta Joint Working Group on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, Statistics Canada reported in 2017 that Indigenous women and girls in Alberta face higher homicide rates than in any other province.
“We will continue to be guided by the recommendations in the 113 Pathways to Justice and work with all police services in Alberta to increase transparency, trust, communication, and flow of information to families of MMIWG2S+,” said Nepinak.
Esquao, the Institute for the Advancement of Aboriginal Women, is an Alberta non-profit organization that serves to amplify the voices
of Indigenous women on the issues and challenges they face. We are at the forefront of breaking down systemic barriers — as leaders and advocates, experienced in taking on larger issues, shaping policy, and collaborating with our partners. We are equally connected to our traditions and committed to providing programs and developing opportunities for the women we serve. Esquao is a voice for change, a voice for healing, a voice for reconciliation, and a voice for Indigenous women everywhere.
For more information on Esquao, the 2023 Esquao Awards, or to coordinate an
interview with one of the recipients, please contact:
Erica Gladue, 780-264-2951 or 1-877-471-2171