Monday, February 28, 2011

Seianna Leask: Missing

Seianna Leask, a 10-year-old girl from Winnipeg, has been missing since February 24, 2011.

Police say the little girl was last seen in Winnipeg's North End near Jarvis Ave. and Salter St. She was wearing a black winter jacket with white stripes on the sleeves, a black hoodie, black tight pants, a white toque and white Converse runners.

Leask is described as aboriginal, five feet tall and weighing 100 pounds. She has shoulder length dark hair and brown eyes.

According to an article in the Winnipeg Free Press, Police say they are not treating Leask's disappearance as an abduction, but they say they are concerned about her whereabouts.

Anybody with information about Leask is asked to call the Winnipeg Police Missing Persons Unit at (204)-986-6250

UPDATE: Leask was safely located by police on March 21.

The REDress Project for Missing and Murdered Women

The REDress Project is an installation by artist Jaime Black that gathers and displays red dresses to mark the absence of over 600 missing and murdered Aboriginal women across Canada.

Institute for Women and Gender Studies (IWGS) is proud to partner with Jaime on the campus-wide installation of the REDress Project will take place during International Women's Week, from March 7-12, 2011.

Along with the installation of over 100 dresses in 9 locations across the campus, w...e will be coordinating tours of the installation, providing educational materials, supporting a movie screening, as well as hosting a panel of speakers. It is our intention to provide an environment for students, staff, faculty and the general public to learn through engagement with the art, and to provide opportunities for conversation about the serious impact of this gendered and racialized violence on all of the peoples of Canada.

After months of planning and preparation, and over one hundred generous donations of REDdresses from the community we are proud to be able to share the events happening with everyone (and we're happy to keep accepting RED dresses throughout the installation - if received before March 4th, they will be hung at UW!)

Join us for a week of FREE events open to all during the installation!

Tuesday March 8 - 'Cinema Politica' screening of the film Finding Dawn at 7:30 pm in Eckhardt-Grammate Hall , 3rd floor, UW campus (free childcare, snacks and bus tickets available). This event, and the discussion to follow will be hosted by Lisa Michell of the Women's Memorial March of MB.

IWGS, along with Ka Ni Kanichihk's Aboriginal Women Reclaiming Our Power program (supported by Status of Women and Heritage Canada), are honoured to support the UWSA, UWSA Womyn's Centre and Gallery 1C03 in the screening of this important film. There will be guides on hand at all UW entrances to help folks find the movie screening location.

Wednesday March 9th - Discussion Panel with REDress artist Jaime Black, filmmaker & activist Tina Keeper, and Lisa Forbes of the Stop Violence Against Aboriginal Women Action Group! 12:30 pm in Convocation Hall - 2nd floor of Wesley Hall (the Castle) at 515 Portage Ave. Accessible venue through the Bryce Hall skywalk.

REDress Installation Tours- All tours start at escalators, 1st floor Centennial Hall at UW.

* March 7 - 12:30 pm and 2:30 pm
* March 8 - 7 pm
* March 9 - 10 am and 4 pm
* March 10 - 12:30 and 4 pm
* March 11 - 12:30 and 5:30 pm
* March 12 - 2:30 pm

For more information about REDress events please contact Kim Hunter at or 204.786.9921 OR Jaime Black (Artist + creator of the REDress project)

Please click here to visit the REDress Project’s Facebook page.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Sandi-Lynn Malcolm

Family Photo of Sandi-Lynn Malcolm courtesy of Facebook

She kept it a secret for months, lying and making excuses about the many bruises on her body. However, Sandi-Lynn Malcolm's parents knew that something was wrong and they kept asking the 17-year-old to tell them who was hurting her. The teen refused to confirm their suspicion that her new boyfriend of only a few months was abusing her, until one day her step-father Percy Mousseau pulled her aside and she finally told her secret.

"He'd hit her in places we couldn't see," alleges Malcolm's mother, Glenda Haufner, adding that once Malcolm told them of the abuse, she took precautions to keep her second oldest daughter out of harms way.

"Towards the last couple of months (of the relationship) she just wanted to be friends with him," Haufner said.

However, Malcolm's intent to remain friends with the her ex would have fatal consequences for the teen. In the early hours of February 27, 2010 the young woman from the Ebb and Flow First Nation, approximately 262 kilometres north of Winnipeg, was stabbed to death at a residence on the reserve.

"I'm so sad every day," said a tearful Haufner, clutching a framed photo of her daughter. "I wasn't done loving her yet. He took her away from me."

The family marked the one year anniversary of Malcolm's death by holding a vigil on the steps of the Legislature. They drove nearly three hours into the city to not only make sure that Malcolm's case will not be forgotten, but to also shed light on domestic violence.

"For all the young ones who are in domestic violence, get out as soon as you can because you don't have a second chance," warned Malcolm's father, Kingsley Malcolm in his address to supporters and onlookers.

Supporters held signs and photos of the young woman as they braved the bitter cold. Family members lit candles and took turns speaking and sharing stories about the energetic and loving young woman.

"She was a very loving person, always joking around," said the grieving father.

The vigil was organized by Malcolm's cousin, Lisa Spence, who also organized a vigil for the girl last march.

"At the time of Sandi's death the Olympics were closing, so there was not much coverage about her. We needed to bring it to the publics attention," she said. "I felt I needed to do this so we could honour her and bring people together to support one another."

Ronald Joseph Racette Jr. of Ebb and Flow First ation has been charged with second degree murder, aggravated assault, and assault causing bodily harm. He is slated to go on trial in Dauphin next November.

Malcolm is survived by her mother and step-father, Glenda Haufner and Percy Mousseau, as well as her father Kingsley Malcolm. She is survived by two sisters, Brandi and Carrie, and a younger brother Cody.

Friday, February 25, 2011

Missing Grandma Found Dead

The body of an elderly woman who was reported missing by her family on February 23, has been found.

Winnipeg police confirmed that the body of 73-year-old Elizabeth Lafantaisie was found in the trunk of her own car, a dark green 2006 Grand Prix, on Thursday, February 24.

Lafantaisie was last seen in the Royalwood area on February 18, however her disappearance went unnoticed for a few days, until somebody found her purse and turned it into police on February 21.

Police have no suspects at this time, however they are asking for anybody who may have seen someone acting suspicious and washing a green car at a coin operated car wash on February 18 to come forward with information.

For more information, click here to read Tamera King's article for the Winnipeg Sun.

Photo: Winnipeg Sun

A 25-year-old Winnipeg man has been charged in the first degree murder of Elizabeth Lafantaisie. Thomas Anthony Joseph Brine of Winnipeg was arrested shortly before 8:00 p.m. on February 28 in the River East area.

Brine is also charged with two counts of possession of goods obtained by crime, three counts of assault causing bodily harm, and assault as a result of two outstanding warrants.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Sunshine April Hilda Wood

It's been exactly seven years and one day since 16-year-old Sunshine Wood vanished on February 20, 2004 after leaving the St. Regis Hotel at 285 Smith Street in downtown Winnipeg.

The teen moved to Winnipeg from God's River First Nation to attend Gordon Bell High School six months before she disappeared.

Since approximately 11:45 pm on February 20, 2004 there have been no traces of Wood. She was last seen wearing a dark coloured hoodie with the "EXCO" logo on the front, blue jeans and black boots. She is described as Aboriginal, with straight long dark hair and brown eyes. She stands five foot seven inches tall and weighs 220 pounds. Wood has the word "Destiny" with a heart tattooed on her left hand

Today Wood would be 23-years old.

First Photo Courtesy of:

Aka: Sunny
Date of birth: April 6, 1987
Sex: Female
Height: 5'7'
Weight: 220lbs
Hair: Straight Brown hair
Eyes: Brown
Race: Aboriginal
Distinguishing characteristics: tattoo on all fingers on her left hand

Second Photo courtesy of:

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Cherisse Houle's mother speaks out

More than 300 people attended the Women's Memorial March on Monday, February 14, to honour and remember the hundreds of women who have gone missing or been murdered in Canada.

The crowd, holding signs and banners, and wearing cardboard butterflies with pictures and names of victims, took to the streets to bring awareness about the tragic issue of missing and murdered women. Currently in Manitoba, there are more than 70 unsolved cases of missing women. Most of them are Aboriginal.

Barbara Houle, mother of slain teenager Cherisse Houle, spoke out about her daughter.

The 17-year-old mother of a young son was found face down in a creek in July, 2009. Her homicide is still unsolved.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Vigil for Claudette Osborne-Tyo

On January 23 family and friends of Claudette Osborne-Tyo gathered in Winnipeg's north end to pay tribute to the missing woman.

It's been two-and-a-half years since the mother of four vanished from Selkirk Avenue and King Street in the early morning hours of July 23, 2008. Her family is still hopeful that they will find answers about her whereabouts and her disappearance.

"We won't give up," said Osborne-Tyo's sister, Bernadette Smith, to the small group of supporters and media huddled outside of a Selkirk Avenue Church.

Fat snowflakes fell as Osborne-Tyo's mother prayed for her lost daughter and the nearly 80 other Manitoba women who have disappeared. The grief-stricken woman wept as she described her need to hear her daughter utter the words 'mom, I love you' once again.

Osborne-Tyo's fiance, Matt Bushby brought their young son Iziah, 4, to the vigil. The wide-eyed little boy stayed close to his father as supporters embraced one another and local media clamoured to get shots of the emotional moments.

Bushby said it was important for his children to pay tribute to their mother so that they don't forget her. He said their children, Layla, Iziah and Patience still ask about Osborne-Tyo every day, and every day he tells them how much she loved them and how she would be with them if she could.

Claudette Osborne-Tyo has been missing since July 23, 2008. Anybody with information about her disappearance or whereabouts are asked to call the Winnipeg Police Missing Persons Unit at (204)-986-6250.