Ten months after the body of Tanya Brooks was found in a window well of St. Patrick’s-Alexandra School in Halifax, her family is still hopeful someone will come forward with information on her murder.

Brooks’ family gathered at the Mi’kmaq Native Friendship Centre on Gottingen Street yesterday, only a few blocks away from where Brooks’ body was found on May 11, 2009.

They travelled from the Millbrook First Nation to a press conference to mark International Women’s Day and to call attention to the more than 500 aboriginal Canadian women who are missing or have been murdered.

Brooks’ sister, Maggie Brooks, expressed her frustration that no one is in custody for the killing.

“As of today with the Halifax Regional (Police), there has been no arrest made in her murder,” she said. “We urge anyone who has, or may have, any information that has not already spoken to police to please come forward.”

Cheryl Maloney, president of the Nova Scotia Native Women’s Association, said the statistics of murdered and missing aboriginal women in Canada is evidence of unfair and unequal treatment.

“Aboriginal women are five times more likely to die violently,” Maloney said. “Aboriginal women need to be full partners ... in the battle against violence, poverty and discrimination.”

Maloney said the NSNWA is also calling upon people to come forward with any information surrounding Brooks’ murder. Brooks was originally from Millbrook but was living in Halifax when she was murdered.

“Tanya’s murder remains unsolved for the past 10 months,” Maloney said. “Her family seeks justice and the closure they deserve.”

As for Maggie Brooks and her family, they remain hopeful new information will lead to an arrest in Tanya’s murder so they can begin to move along.

“The family can’t heal. The process cannot even begin until the answers that we seek are given to us,” Maggie said. “And the biggest question is ‘Why?’”

Victoria Paul
The family of the late Victoria Paul of Indian Brook First Nation was also at yesterday’s press conference. Paul wasn’t murdered, but her family believes Truro police took too long in getting her medical help after she suffered a stroke while in its jail cells.

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