Killings of aboriginal women in Regina underscore importance of personal safety
Following news that police in Regina have charged a man with two homicides of aboriginal women in 2013, one woman says she will continue to be vigilant about her personal safety.
"You have to be really responsible when you go out," Julianne Beaudin-Herney, a student at First Nations University of Canada in Regina, told CBC News. "I have a group of friends that if we go out, we watch each other."
Beaudin-Herney noted, however, that it is difficult to be completely protected against someone who has a mindset to do harm.
"You can't really prevent another person's intentions," she said.
"It's a reality to be targeted as an indigenous women," Beaudin-Herney, who is of Cree and Métis ancestry, added. "And regardless of where you are in Canada, or the world, women are targeted. Especially indigenous or women in minority groups."
Beaudin-Herney adds that how the media report on missing or murdered aboriginal women has an impact.
Often, she said, media will highlight elements of a victim's life — such as prostitution — that will influence public perception of the case.
"So the stereotypes from media are immediately stapled on to them," she said, and the general public become "desensitized" to a tragic death.
Beaudin-Herney is also an artist who has had showings of her work relating to the issue of missing and murdered aboriginal women.
With files from CBC's Adrian Cheung