A Statement from Friends & Family in Regards to the Roxanne Louie Verdict

April 8th, 2017

First, we want to thank our communities within the Okanagan for their continued support. Specifically, we want to thank those who came forward with information when Roxanne first went missing. Thank you to all those who showed their support during the “Prayer Walk” while Roxanne was still missing. We believe the added pressure from community support finally drove the Robotti’s to confess their crime. Thank you to everyone who organized and attended rallies at the Penticton courthouse during the bail hearing and preliminary hearing. Thank you to all the organizers of the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women’s annual vigil on February 14th. Additional thanks to the UBCO Women’s Resource Centre for holding Tea Talks on Missing and Murdered Indigenous women. These events are crucial for raising awareness and empowering Indigenous voices. Additional thanks to the Osoyoos Indian Band and the Okanagan Nation Transition Emergency House (ONTAH). Also, special thanks to Okanagan Nation Alliance emergency response team for their support throughout the trial.

Roxanne Louie died under tragic circumstances, and we acknowledge these circumstances. However, we also ask everyone to see past the trauma inflicted upon Roxanne and to remember her for her vibrant energy. She was always filled with light-hearted laughter and determination. She was also a beautiful woman, with a great big smile. She grew to be a very generous and responsible mom, who loved to go on many outings to the park or beach with her son.

Nothing will ever bring our beloved Roxanne back. However, the jury’s verdict to convict Grace Robotti of second-degree murder is the best outcome in this terrible situation. Additionally, we are extremely disappointed in Pier Robotti’s sentence of interfering with a body. These past two years have been extremely difficult; we feel our loss in so many ways. As family and friends to Roxanne we are still processing both convictions. However, we are relieved for the closure Grace Robotti’s verdict brings.

There are still many murdered and missing Indigenous women out there. Locally, three Indigenous women have been reported missing in the last five years alone. This includes Caitlyn Potts, Ashley Simpson, and Deanna Mildred Wertz. In all case’s the RCMP made a public statement asking for the public’s assistance. As Roxanne’s friends, family, and supporters, we wish to reiterate the RCMP’s request for public support. We learned that while Roxanne was missing, no information was too trivial. Therefore, if you have information about any of the missing women, bring it forward.

We hope that all of these women are found, and preferably found safe. We still remember what it was like searching for Roxanne, and we pray that this feeling is not prolonged for the families any further. We send our prayers and support to each of the women, along with their friends and families.

Additionally, we hope that Grace Robotti’s conviction makes potential perpetrators think twice about targeting Indigenous women. There is an estimated 1,500 murdered and missing Indigenous women in Canada. Organizations such as the Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC), the Coalition on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, and the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls indicate that this is not just an Indigenous issue; it is a Canadian issue. This issue stems from deep-seated and widespread gendered racism that go unchecked. Such attitudes were showcased in Grace Robotti’s, Pier Robotti’s, and Dylan Spence’s descriptions of Roxanne. They were subtle remarks; however, they suggested that violence towards Roxanne was justifiable due to their perception of who she was, which was inextricably tied to her Indigenous heritage. Therefore, it is important to take notice of these harmful attitudes, and how society is slowly adjusting so that perpetrators are more often held accountable. There is still more work to be done. However, this is one step in the right direction.

Moving forward we will continue to advocate for Roxanne, her son, along with all missing and murdered Indigenous women, including those impacted.

Lim’limt from the Hall and Louie family.

Verdict Provides Initial Steps Forward for Family and Community

April 7th, 2017

Okanagan Nation Territory/Westbank BC: The Louie and Hall family have endured years of arduous judicial processes and litigation in regards to the murder trial of Roxanne Louie, yet in the face of these challenges they have found the strength and resiliency to persevere. Justice here is found in both the verdict, as well as in […]

B.C. Court Confirms Rights in Arrow Lakes

March 27th, 2017

Syilx Okanagan Nation Territory, Westbank BC:  The Okanagan Nation Alliance (ONA) is welcoming the provincial court’s March 27, 2017 Desautel decision. The decision arose as a result of hunting charges laid by the Province against Rick Desautel in 2010. The court acquitted Desautel and held that the descendants of the Sinixt continue to exist and […]

A Letter of Gratitude on Terra Madre Day

February 3rd, 2017

As Terra Madre Day 2016 nears the Okanagan Nation Alliance (ONA) would like to take the opportunity to thank Slow Food Thompson Okanagan, Slow Food Canada, Slow Food Turtle Island and Slow Food International’s continued support in sharing the story of the return our sc’win and advocating for indigenous food sovereignty in general.

At the core of our connection with Slow Food is a set of shared values around the deeper significance of food and food systems, not only for sustenance, but for the well-being and resilience of people, cultures and ecologies. The key tenants of Slow Food “good clean and fair” food resonates with our indigenous perspective and experience, particularly regarding social justice, conviviality and the sacred nature of food that connects all of us. On Terre Madre Day the Syilx Nation acknowledge the importance and significance of this day set aside for reflecting upon our actions. We stand with our sisters and brothers around the world in our hard work advancing food security efforts for our beautiful peoples, beautiful lands, resources, and sacred waters. We look forward to collectively furthering these practices in the year to come.

Okanagan Nation welcomes Grand Chief Ed John’s report on Aboriginal Child Welfare

February 3rd, 2017

November 23, 2016  Stq’aˀtxʷ niw’t, Okanagan Nation Territory: The Okanagan Nation Chiefs Executive Council welcomes the much anticipated report from Grand Chief Ed John, Special Advisor on Aboriginal Child Welfare titled Indigenous Resilience, Connectedness and Reunification – from Root Causes to Root Solutions presented to Premier Clark, Minister Cadieux and Indigenous Leadership on November 21, […]

Renowned German Professor, Hartman Lutz at En’owkin Centre on Penticton Reserve

February 3rd, 2017

Hartman Lutz chaired the North American Studies Program at the University of Greifswald until March 2011. He gained his PhD in Philosphy from the University of Tubingen in 1975. Professor Lutz will reflect on his experiences working in Indigenous Studies and speak about and screen his film Trapped in a Human Zoo, a 2016 documentary about […]