Mr. Speaker, on May 23, I was in Winnipeg for the grand opening of the Kihiw Iskewock Lodge, a new housing facility for women exiting correctional facilities, championed by the Native Women's Transition Centre. When the well-known chairwoman of the board did not arrive, it was very unusual. We later learned that Violet Nelson, the chairwoman, was tragically killed in a motor vehicle accident en route to the grand opening.
Violet was passionate about services for aboriginal women and children. That is why this new lodge was so important to her. It would give women who had made some mistakes hope and opportunity to be self-sufficient and to secure stable housing as they transitioned away from a life of crime.
She also donated countless hours to the Indian and Métis Friendship Centre and aboriginal Girl Guides among others. Violet's family and her children are devastated and her death is a big blow to our community.
Canada has lost a strong, proud and extremely caring aboriginal woman who at age 35 leaves us far too soon.
For all that Violet gave and all that she did, meegwetch. She will be deeply missed.