(Kiara Denny Julian, 18, works at a local Eskasoni restaurant. She said she was harassed last year)
APTN National News
The recent experience of a young woman from the Eskasoni First Nation in Nova Scotia shows that Aboriginal women are still at risk and still not getting much help.
Kiara Denny Julian, 18, was harassed by a passer-by on her way home from work.
Reporter Holly Moore travelled to the small Cape Breton community for her upcoming episode called “Precious Ones,” airing Friday, May 5 on APTN Investigates.
“I usually never walk,” said Julian, who works at a local restaurant. “My family was busy and it was a nice night so I thought I might as well walk.”
An older model, black pick- up truck with a red roof was parked by the local arena. As she walked past, the driver turned up his high-beam headlights.
“I was confused,” she said. “I kept walking. I got to one of the driveways and he pulled in and stopped right in front of me.”
She said she waved the driver off and he started to turn towards her. That’s when she pulled out her phone.
“I started dialing and he took off right away.”
Local photographer and Eskasoni member Sasha Doucette says incidents like those Julian described are not uncommon.
She said there were two other incidents where drivers approached young people walking in the First Nation and tried to lure them over. She wants the RCMP to take it more seriously.
“I just don’t know what is being done about them,” she said. “They are trying their best to pick up little girls and lord knows what they want them for.”
RCMP in the tiny community say they are not aware of similar incidences but encouraged those harassed to contact police.
“Although we are not aware of specific occurrences, we encourage anyone who have been subject of such encounter or anyone who fear for their safety to report the matter to their local RCMP,” stated Media Relations officer Cpl. Jennifer Clarke in an email. “I don’t understand why they are trying to do that to us,” said Julian. “Especially to Aboriginal women, it makes no sense and is so rude.”
Doucette said she believes the harassment problems are linked to a recent uptick in the drug and sex trades on Eskasoni.
“Women are selling themselves,” she said. “They are bringing it to us. But these men should be stopped from doing that.”