An indigenous woman studying the murder of indigenous women has herself been murdered.
Canadian university student Loretta Saunders, 26, was missing for five days before her body was found by police dumped by a highway hundreds of kilometres from her home in Halifax.
The Inuit woman was a criminology major who had been working on a thesis about missing and murdered aboriginal women.
Ms Saunders, who was pregnant at the time of her death, was last seen on February 13 leaving an apartment building in Halifax she was sub-letting to a couple.
The couple - Victoria Henneberry, 28, and Blake Leggett, 25 - were charged with murder after they were arrested in Ontario, 2000km from Halifax. They were initially charged with stealing Ms Saunders' car.
Cheryl Maloney, president of the Nova Scotia Native Women’s Association, said Ms Saunders’ case showed just how at risk aboriginal women were in Canada.
“She wasn’t what society expected for a missing girl, a missing aboriginal girl," Ms Maloney said.
"She was a young university student, a young bright masters student. This is not what everyone expects but she is at risk. She is vulnerable. Every aboriginal girl in this country is vulnerable.”
Ms Maloney called on all levels of government to recognize and acknowledge the crisis of missing aboriginal men and women.
“I’m never going to let Stephen Harper or Canadians forget about Loretta. Loretta and all the other missing and murdered aboriginal people,” she said.