July 16, 2020
Community members close to Roderica Ribbonleg are mourning after her body was found yesterday in Northern Alberta. The police say her death was “suspicious” and indicated it was likely due to homicide. Her clothes were found in the woods by a resident. Subsequently, the police were alerted, and the gruesome discovery was made after searching the area.
Teacher – Lloyd G Chubb – described his former student as a nice girl, and recounted memories of when he was her teacher.
[She was} outgoing, very kind and loving. She always came to my desk every morning to say, “Good morning Mr Chubb..Have a wonderful day”. She was gone way too soon.Source: https://www.facebook.com/lloydg.chubb.5/posts/602942033983927
This case has opened old wounds, as Roderica Ribbonleg was not the first Indigenous woman in Canada to be found dead under suspicious circumstances. Calls to investigate missing and murdered Aboriginal women in Canada have been increasing in recent years, and this case is a perfect example of why those calls exist.
Other suspicious deaths in Northern Alberta
In 2019, William Tremblay, an Indigenous man, was found in a burnt our trailer in Northern Alberta. To date, nobody has been charged with his murder, and the case remains unsolved. His friends remembered him as someone who made them laugh and said he will be missed.
in 2016, Alannah Cardinal, an Indigenous mother, was found dead in Northern Alberta. The police ruled it a suicide, but her family believes she was murdered, and stated she would have wanted to take care of her young child. Alannah Cardinal was only 20 years old when her remains were found, and she was accepted into college weeks before her sudden disappearance.
Increasing calls for action from Parliament
The Canadian Department of Justice lists some disturbing facts about Missing and Murdered Indigenous women in Canada.
In 1980, Indigenous women accounted for 9% (18) of female homicide victims, whereas in 2014, they accounted for 21% (30) of female homicide victims. In 2014, the rate of homicide of Indigenous women (3.64 per 100,000) was almost six times higher than non-Indigenous womenSource: https://www.justice.gc.ca/eng/rp-pr/jr/jf-pf/2017/july04.html
Despite Canada’s system of colonization being labelled a “genocide” against Indigenous women and girls by the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Indigenous leaders complain Ottawa is not doing enough to solve the problem.
$53.8 million was spent on the inquiry, which sent researchers from coast to coast. After the inquiry was completed in 2019, Ottawa appears to have dragged its feet on following up with the recommendations released in the report.
Roderica Ribbonleg‘s unsolved murder will likely exacerbate tensions between the Indigenous people and Ottawa, as well as further calls to follow the recommendations that the Federal Government appears to be ignoring.
Anyone with information about Roderica’s murder is urged to call the RCMP at 1-780-927-3258 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477. Anonymous reports can be made online, for those who prefer that method.
Carolyn Bennett – Minister of Crown–Indigenous Relations – can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org . Marc Miller – Minister of Indigenous Services – can be reached at Marc.Miller@parl.gc.ca .
Article by: Mark Slapinski