Families of missing and murdered Indigenous women seek change ahead of Oct. 4 vigils

VANCOUVER — Family members of Indigenous women killed across British Columbia say police need to be held accountable and improve communication when they are investigating missing persons cases across different jurisdictions.

The families shared their stories on the eve of Canada-wide Sisters in Spirit vigils Oct. 4 to honour missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls.

Natasha Harrison's daughter Tatyanna's body was found in Richmond, B.C., in May but was not identified for months by police in Vancouver, where a missing persons report had been filed.

Sheila Poorman says she still has many questions about what happened to her daughter Chelsea, whose body was found outside an abandoned house in Vancouver 20 months after she was last seen.

Josie August says family members resorted to handing out missing posters on their own when her relative Noelle O’Soup went missing in May in Port Coquitlam.

Annual Sisters in Spirit vigils are planned in cities across Canada including Ottawa; Gatineau, Que.; Whitehorse; Edmonton; and Nanaimo, B.C.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 3, 2022.

The Canadian Press