The following statement was issued today by the six chiefs of the Wolastoqey Nation in New Brunswick:

WOLASTOQEY TERRITORY – With a heavy heart, the Wolastoqey chiefs ask for any leads on the disappearance of Erin Brooks of St. Mary’s First Nation, who has been missing for over 30 days. Our thoughts are with the Brooks family at this time as the announcement that foul play has been suspected.

The tragic disappearance or murder of our Indigenous women is a fear that many of us hold and one that is tragically rooted in reality for Indigenous people in Canada. Though disappearances of our women happen across this country, it is never an easy reality to swallow and hurts more with every new case.

Indigenous women are disproportionately victims of violent crimes in Canada. Further, violent crimes involving Indigenous women are less likely to be solved by police than non-Indigenous women. The Native Women’s Association of Canada reports that only 53% of murder cases in their database have been solved compared to 84% of all cases across Canada. Statistics Canada reported that the self-identification of being Indigenous alone is a noted risk factor for women that isn’t as present for men.

These are only some of the dire statistics readily available on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls. We continue to pray that Erin Brooks does not become another one of those statistics.

The Final Report on MMIWG was delivered to the federal government in June 2019, with the federal government releasing an action plan on MMIWG two years later in June 2021. Concrete action has been slow moving and time is not on our side as our women and girls continue to disappear. These are mothers and daughters who are missed dearly and continue to be art risk. We need action now to save them from further harm.

Erin Brooks was last seen at the St. Mary’s Smoke Shop on December 27′. If you have any information on her disappearance, please reach out to the Fredericton Police (506) 460-2300 case file number 21-26975. If you wish to remain anonymous please contact Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.