Tŝilhqot’in Nation comes together to heal in response to the confirmation of 93 unmarked graves at St. Joseph’s Mission in Williams Lake, British Columbia.

Williams Lake, BC: The Tŝilhqot’in Ts’iqi Dechen Jedilhtan (Women’s Council) is mourning the loss of Carmelita Abraham. Carmelita was a 33-year-old woman from Takla First Nation who went missing in December 2021. Carmelita was found deceased on January 14, 2022 at the Willow Inn in Quesnel, BC. 51-year-old Joseph Simpson has been arrested for her suspected homicide.

The Tŝilhqot’in Ts’iqi Dechen Jedilhtan is calling for immediate action on the Calls for Justice as outlined in Reclaiming Power and Place: The Final Report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG). Carmelita’s case reveals that not enough has been done to implement the 231 Calls for Justice and that the inaction on the part of the government continues to deny justice for Indigenous women and girls across this country and cost lives.

“The reality is that our Indigenous women and girls continue to go missing and be murdered in British Columbia and across Canada. In so many of these cases, the ones responsible are never brought to justice and stereotypes continue to prevail. We need our Indigenous people and non Indigenous people to fight to bring justice for these women and girls – in this case for Carmelita. Carmelita had goals and dreams that are left unrealized. She was a powerful woman, a woman of strength. There are many like Carmelita in Williams Lake. We need to stop talking about what needs to happen and make it happen. It is the responsibility of all of us to ensure the safety and well-being of all women and girls is paramount regardless of race and circumstances. The government has the recommendations so why are they denying our Indigenous women and girls justice by failing to act. We need change now.”

— Joyce Cooper, Tŝilhqot’in Ts’iqi Dechen Jedilhtan

Jacey Warne
Communications Manager
Tŝilhqot’in National Government
(403) 998-7581