HALIFAX — “My sister is a brilliant, beautiful, kind-hearted, generous and loving person,” says Deliliah Terriak, sister of Loretta Saunders, a young woman who went missing on Thursday, Feb. 13. Terriak is focused on bringing her sister home and bringing her family back together.

On Feb. 19, a fundraising campaign was launched in order to raise money to bring Loretta’s family to Halifax so they can be together.

“My family is having a difficult time processing what’s going on and having a hard time finding answers when we’re spread all over,” says Terriak. “We need to be together when we find out what’s going on, when we hear some good news.”

People interested in donating to the campaign can go to http://www.gofundme.com/6zy0j4.

Loretta Saunders is a 26-year-old Inuk from Labrador who is set to graduate from Saint Mary’s University in May.

Her thesis topic is missing and murdered Aboriginal women, a topic that she cares deeply about.

“Her thesis topic is very close to her heart, says Terriak.

“It’s a topic that she feels very passionate about; it is an example of many of the injustices towards indigenous women and indigenous people.”

“Loretta is a firm believer in the necessity for decolonization and for breaking the cycle that keeps indigenous people trapped in a life of addiction and abuse and self-destructive behaviour.”

Loretta herself is breaking that cycle, says Terriak. “She came out of a tough place, and she is on her way to law school.  She’s a brilliant student.”

Terriak says she’s drawing on Loretta’s strength to get through this.  “She’s the strongest woman I know.  That’s what’s keeping me going and strong.  Knowing that she’s so tough.  Her ability to persevere is unmatched.  She is an incredible woman.”

Originally published Feb. 21 on the Halifax Media Co-op website.