Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Relatives of P.E.I. Woman Tell Inquiry That Indigenous Lives Matter

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Relatives of P.E.I. Woman Tell Inquiry That Indigenous Lives Matter

Article excerpt

Woman's relatives say Indigenous lives matter

--

MONCTON, N.B. - The family of an Aboriginal woman from Prince Edward Island who died a suspicious death says they want people to know her life mattered.

"My mom matters. Our First Nation women matter," Barbara Bernard said as she spoke before the National Inquiry on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls Wednesday in Moncton, N.B.

Bernard and her grand-daughter were there to talk about the life and death of Mary Francis Paul.

They say they know few details about Paul's 1977 death on the Charlottetown waterfront and want to know if police investigated.

Barbara Bernard said her mother, from Scotchfort, P.E.I., had an alcohol problem and was a heavy drinker when she went out with friends but always returned home and cared for her family.

However, Bernard said she noticed her mother was fidgety one night before going out -- and then never returned.

Bernard said she learned days later her mother had been found dead near the water, but was only told that she had fallen and had a broken neck.

Bernard said she was 16 years old at the time, and police never gave her any details.

"No one really told me what happened to my mom. I never realized it could have been a murder or suspicious death," Bernard said.

She only discovered 12 years later that the death may have been suspicious, and the body had been in a metal bin, but says she never learned more from police.

Now 57, Bernard said she has questions that she wants answered.

"Maybe they did investigate, maybe they didn't. I would like to know that for sure. The main thing is to find out if it was a suspicious death, was she murdered?" Bernard said.

"It felt like they didn't think my mom's life was worth anything, and that hurt. I think that's what made me decide to come here and tell my story for my mom, because my mom matters," she said, crying. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.