by David Fraser
Another woman has gone missing in Regina.
Brandy Wesaquate was last seen on New Year’s Day. She isn’t known to stay out of touch with friends and family, and by January 10th they were concerned enough to notify Regina Police.
News releases were sent out by Regina Police the day after they found out. An additional release was made on the 17th. Twenty-three days later the public was told
After a week of bitterly cold weather, another appeal to the public was made on Brandy’s behalf -- this time to seek help in a ground search of her North Central neighborhood.
The search on January 23rd got the attention of the media and public, but now the investigators have retreated to following-up on information. ” [Investigators] are trying to make contact with people that we want to talk to who may have some clue as to where Brandy is,” said Elizabeth Popowich of Regina Police.
Brandy’s disappearance is the first case made public in the New Year. Estimates from a 2010 study by Native Women’s Association of Canada show that almost 300 Aboriginal women have gone missing across Canada since 2000. On a national level, Saskatchewan ranks near the top in the number of missing or murdered Aboriginal women.
One of the common denominators is residing in the inner-city.
Rob Deglau, the executive director of North Central Community Centre, has seen this happen far too often. “Missing women are a big issue in our community,” he said.
Calls from Amnesty International and other social justice groups haven’t helped solve this problem. Placing the blame for these missing and murdered women is difficult. The fact that Aboriginal women are systematically amongst Saskatchewan’s most marginalized demographic accounts for many of the missing or murdered, these groups have found.
Although attempts to reach family members of Brandy were unsuccessful, a delayed public response and cold weather means the outlook might be grim.
Brandy Wesaquate is 5’10 tall, weighs roughly 180 pounds, with blonde hair and blue eyes. Anyone with any information is encouraged to contact Regina Police at 777-6500.