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Justice for Cindy Gladue

Rally for Cindy Gladue

The Council of Canadians supports the call for justice for Cindy Gladue.

CTV reports, “Nearly four years ago, aboriginal sex worker Cindy Gladue bled to death in a hotel bathtub in Edmonton. The trial of the man accused of killing her received little national attention, but his acquittal has sparked outrage, and spurred protests across the country on Thursday.”

Council of Canadians organizers Chris Gallaway and Aleah Loney attended today’s protest in Edmonton.

Rally for Cindy Gladue

There is outrage because, as Professor Julie Kaye has written, “In a context of ongoing stigma against these dual identities, the defence argued that she died by accident, during ‘rough sex’, that an 11-centimetre tear inside her body was caused by accident, rather than violent sexual assault leading to her death. Such an argument is only possible in a context that normalizes violence against sex workers, and excuses and facilitates ongoing violence against indigenous women.”

The CTV article adds, “Gladue’s death has become another flashpoint in the discussions about missing and murdered aboriginal women and the federal government’s refusal to call a national inquiry into the matter. …Kaye said the goal of today’s protests is to raise awareness of a ‘system that has disproportionately criminalized and disproportionately victimized indigenous women’. She said demonstrators also want to put the issue back on Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s radar.”

The Council of Canadians supports the call for a national inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women.

Late this afternoon, prosecutors in Alberta announced they would appeal the acquittal. Fawn Lamouche, who helped to organize the protest in Edmonton today, said, “We really hope we can get justice in the case for Cindy and her family. Hopefully this brings out some changes for the way that we, as Indigenous people, are treated by the justice system.”