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SCO Stands with the Family of the Late Crystal Saunders

January 29, 2024

“Our hearts are with the family of Crystal Shannon Saunders” – Grand Chief Jerry Daniels


The Southern Chiefs’ Organization (SCO) is issuing this statement in response to news that an arrest has been made in the homicide of Crystal Shannon Saunders, a 24-year-old woman from Manitoba.

“On behalf of the Southern Chiefs’ Organization, I express my gratitude to all who dedicated themselves to finding answers for the family of the late Crystal Saunders,” said SCO Grand Chief Jerry Daniels. “I send my condolences and prayers to all those who loved Crystal Shannon Saunders. I am especially thinking of her daughter today. SCO stands with you and your family as you continue to go through your grieving process.”

Ms. Saunders was 24 years old and a mother. She went missing from Winnipeg on April 18, 2007. Her body was discovered near St. Ambroise, Manitoba on April 19, 2007.

Indigenous people continue to be disproportionately impacted by the national emergency of missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls, two spirit, and gender-diverse people. SCO will also continue to stand with the families impacted by this ongoing national travesty, as we all strive for justice for their loved ones.

“DNA played a pivotal role in tracking down the person who is now charged with second-degree murder in the case of Crystal Saunders,” shared Grand Chief Daniels. “The use of technology in finding answers in this case was essential. While we are grateful to have some answers in this case, we continue to assert that there is still much more work that needs to be done to protect our women. I continue to call for the implementation of the 231 Calls for Justice. We must work towards creating a safer society for our women, girls, two spirit, and gender-diverse people. SCO mourns the loss of Crystal Saunders and we anticipate that her killer will face justice.”

For anyone who requires immediate emotional support, please call the national, independent toll free 24/7 support line at 1-844-413-6649 to speak to a counsellor. This service is available in English, Anishnaabemowin, and Cree.


The Southern Chiefs’ Organization represents 34 First Nations and more than 85,500 citizens in what is now southern Manitoba. SCO is an independent political organization that protects, preserves, promotes, and enhances First Nations peoples’ inherent rights, languages, customs, and traditions through the application and implementation of the spirit and intent of the Treaty-making process.

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