Debates of the Senate  
  1st Session, 40th Parliament,Volume 145, Issue 7.
    Tuesday, December 2, 2008
 
Missing Sisters Walk
 

Hon. Lillian Eva Dyck: Honourable senators, today I would like to honour the memory of a beautiful Aboriginal woman, Daleen Kay Bosse (Muskego), who went missing from Saskatoon, Saskatchewan on May 18, 2004. Daleen was a member of the Onion Lake Cree Nation and was attending the University of Saskatchewan studying to become a teacher at the time of her disappearance.

After Daleen went missing, her parents, Herb and Pauline Muskego, organized the Missing Sisters Walk dedicated to their missing daughter.

This past summer, I attended the fourth and final Onion Lake Missing Sisters Walk to raise awareness about Daleen's disappearance and to bring attention to the 500-plus unsolved cases of missing and/or murdered Aboriginal women across Canada.

The Missing Sisters Walk has been a pillar of strength for Herb and Pauline Muskego in dealing with their grief over the loss of their daughter Daleen. Sadly, in August 2008, her remains were found 10 miles north of Saskatoon near Martensville, Saskatchewan. The perpetrator has been charged with first degree murder and committing an indignity to a human body.

In Canada, First Nations women are highly overrepresented in missing women cases. Currently, there are over 500 unsolved cases that need to be reviewed and responded to. The process in dealing with missing women cases requires the urgent commitment and cooperation of Canada's police service and law enforcement authorities in solving cases and helping to prevent the disappearance and deaths of Aboriginal women.

Honourable senators, Canadians need to be made aware of these 500-plus unsolved cases of missing First Nations women. Canadian governments and authorities must establish effective mechanisms and protocols in order to protect First Nations women from racist and sexist acts of violence. If we do not, even more Aboriginal women will go missing.

For decades, not enough attention has been paid when Aboriginal girls go missing in Canada. The mentality of "it's just another Indian girl" must change. Aboriginal women are not products for consumption or waste. We are human beings and life givers who deserve respect and dignity.

Honourable senators, our women, our grandmothers, our sisters and our mothers must be valued. We owe it to Daleen, our daughters and granddaughters.