MEDIA RELEASE – Comments on case of Robert Pickton

For Immediate Release

Edmonton, AB, February 23, 2024: Esquao, the Institute for the Advancement of Aboriginal Women, expresses grave concern over the recent eligibility of serial killer Robert Pickton to apply for day parole, effective as of February 22, 2024, with the possibility of full parole in 2027. Pickton, known for his crimes committed at his pig farm in Port Coquitlam, BC, which
included feeding victims to his hogs, continues to evoke profound pain and anguish for the families of his victims. Charged initially with the murder of 26 women, Pickton later claimed a death tally of 49. In 2007, he was convicted of six counts of second-degree murder.

Josie Nepinak, President of Esquao, stated, “The fact that serial killer, Robert Pickton, can apply for day parole is disrespectful to the families who have lost their loved ones by the actions of this man. This opens many wounds of loss, grief, and deserve better.” Nepinak continued, “Indigenous women have been made disposable from the neglect by Vancouver police who did not act fast enough to investigate, despite Indigenous women reporting him a number of times in relation to their missing friends.”

The case of Robert Pickton highlights the systemic failures and neglect that have contributed to the epidemic of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA peoples (MMIWG2S+) in Canada. Esquao stands in solidarity with the victims and their families, offering unwavering support and empathy during this distressing time.

Esquao calls upon all levels of government, law enforcement agencies, and relevant stakeholders to fully implement the 231 Calls for Justice for MMIWG2S+, as outlined by Indigenous communities and organizations. This includes ensuring thorough investigations and punishment in cases like that of Robert Pickton and addressing systemic failures within the justice system
to prevent further harm to MMIWG2S+ and their families.

It is imperative that justice is pursued diligently and that the voices of the victims’ families and Indigenous communities are prioritized in these processes.

About Esquao

Esquao, the Institute for the Advancement of Aboriginal Women, is an Alberta non-profit organization that serves to amplify the voices of Indigenous women on the issues and challenges they face. We are at the forefront of breaking down systemic barriers — as leaders and advocates, experienced in taking on larger issues, shaping policy, and collaborating with our partners. We are equally connected to our traditions and committed to providing programs and developing opportunities for the women we serve. Esquao is a voice for change, a voice for healing, a voice for reconciliation, and a voice for Indigenous women everywhere.


For more information on Esquao visit, or to coordinate an interview with Josie Nepinak, please email

Esquao is the stylized version of the Cree word for woman.