Fundraiser looks to hit $50,000 goal
A grieving mother is hoping young girls will be given a chance to help fulfill their dreams tonight in ways her own daughter never did, years after the 13-year-old’s life was tragically cut short.
Peacha Atkinson’s daughter, Nina Courtepatte, was lured from West Edmonton Mall on the promise of party in 2005 before she was driven out of town and brutally murdered.
In remembrance of the slain teenager, Atkinson has partnered with the Institute of the Advancement of Aboriginal Women to create Nina’s Dreams, a fund aimed at developing programs for Aboriginal girls.
Supporters will gather at 6 p.m. tonight at the Palace, near 32 Ave. and 99 St., for a silent auction and fashion show, with proceeds going towards their goal of raising $50,000.
Muriel Stanley Venne of the IAAW said Aboriginal women are discriminated against more than any other group, often labelled as prostitutes or stricken with drug problems and poverty.
"We encounter this to the extreme that people even say that ‘they brought it on themselves’ or those kinds of things, which, of course, we do not agree with at all," she said. "A person’s life is valuable, no matter what the circumstances."
The fact that Nina was an innocent victim, seemingly chosen at random from a crowd of mallrats, has helped the community counter these stereotypes, she said.