Aboriginal women: victims of historical trauma

No intensive investigations have been conducted for the missing and murdered indigenous women

Cheyenne Fox, with her son Xavier. Police say it her death was suicide but the family say it was murder. Photo: Facebook

Cheyenne Fox, with her son Xavier. Police say it her death was suicide but the family say it was murder.
Photo: Facebook

Do you recall the names Tammy Homolka, Lesley McAffey and Kristen French?

These are three young women who were murdered in 1991 and 1992. Depending on what generation is reading this, some will instantly remember them, the horror stories of their deaths, the intensive police work that followed, concluding with the arrest and charges against the married couple of Paul Bernardo and Karla Homolka.

When you hear the names Cheyenne Fox, Terra Gardner, and Bella Laboucan-McLean, do they sound familiar or can you recall where you may have heard of them?

Most, in fact an overwhelming majority, won’t.

Cheyenne Fox died as a result of a fall from a 24th floor balcony. Cheyenne’s family was informed of her death on April 26, 2013 at 10:30 p.m. and the case was closed by 8 a.m. the next day. No intensive investigation.

Cheyenne is only one of many young aboriginal women who are victims of the historical traumas suffered by generations before her and passed on. Troubled, yes, like the majority of Aboriginal Peoples in Canada at the injustices that have occurred since the start of colonization. Her family insists, “she was not so troubled that she would jump from a highrise balcony.”

Terra Gardner was struck and killed by a freight train in May 2013. At the time of her death, Terra was a witness in a murder trial and had received death threats about testifying. Doug Johnson Hatlem, a street pastor with Sanctuary said, “they did not give her adequate protection for testifying in a major murder trial where she is being called a rat and being threatened.” Police told reporters they did not suspect foul play. No intensive investigation.

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Aboriginal women: victims of historical trauma