Maisy Odjick


Maisy Odjick, a 16 year-old from the Algonquin community of Kitigan Zibi near Maniwaki (Quebec) has been missing since September 8, 2008. In the words of Laurie Odjick, Maisy’s mother, the response of police services has been “incompetent, unprofessional, uncooperative [and] unaccountable.” The May 2009 edition of No One Is Illegal Radio features an interview with Laurie Odjick, who has been organizing and struggling for justice and answers in the case of her missing daughter. Laurie also wrote a public letter condemning police maplractice, below. Read the letter Listen to Audio of Laurie reading her...

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The search for Maisy and Shannon continues by Maya Rolbin-Ghanie and Dru Oja Jay see photo essay – http://www.dominionpaper.ca/articles/2694 KITIGAN ZIBI ANISHINABEG–Maisy Odjick, 17, and her friend Shannon Alexander, now 18, vanished from Shannon’s father’s apartment in Maniwaki, Quebec, September 6, 2008. Both are from Kitigan Zibi, an Algonquin reserve adjacent to Maniwaki. Since September, neither the Kitigan Zibi Police Services nor the Sûreté du Québec has collected any evidence pertaining to the whereabouts of the two girls. When Maisy and Shannon vanished, their wallets and their money were left behind. The police are not ruling out the possibility that the two girls are “runaways.” In addition, the police have repeatedly neglected to communicate with and report back to the two families. The little media attention this case has attracted may be attributed to the constant and determined efforts at media outreach by Maisy’s mother, Laurie Odjick. The two ground searches since the disappearance – December 7, 2008, and May 2, 2009 – were led by Search and Rescue Global 1; both times the Odjick family was the main organizer. According to Search Leader Lawrence Conway, the search for Maisy and Shannon is the first family-organized search he has ever taken part in. Normally, the police call rescue teams and arrange searches. Indigenous women in Canada are five times more likely than other women to die as the result of violence. The official number of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls in Canada since 1980 is 520, two-thirds of whom were murdered and about one-quarter of whom are still missing. Roughly half of these murders and disappearances occurred in the last nine years and over 300 cases are as of yet unsolved. Indigenous grassroots activists and communities put the number of cases closer to 1800. Amnesty International, the United Nations, and the Native Women’s Association of Canada (NWAC) have all put forth comprehensive recommendations to the Canadian government to address the violence and discrimination faced by Indigenous women, but so far no action has been taken beyond a small amount of funding allotted for research. NWAC President Beverley Jacobs points out that even working with a number like 520, taken proportionately that “would equal 18,000 women among Canada’s white population. If there were 18,000 white women missing and murdered, it would be headlines. There would be something done...

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March 8, 2009 To whom it may concern: I write this letter to you as a concerned mother and citizen. I would like to bring to your attention several issues concerning the disappearance of my daughter, Maisy Odjick, and the manner in which the Kitigan Zibi Police Services and le Surete du Quebec have handled this case. Since my daughter’s disappearance, September 6, 2008, to present day, very little to nil support and communication has been provided by these police services. The lack of police services and support from the onset has been a long, frustrating and exhausting six months for me and my family. My sixteen year old daughter was not alone when she disappeared. She and her friend, Shannon Alexander (17 years old) were together, and both disappeared on September 6, 2008. While I am deeply concerned for Shannon’s whereabouts, but out of respect for Shannon’s father and family, I cannot nor am I speaking for her in this letter. I am of the position that government authorities, agencies and the public need to be informed on the incompetent, unprofessional, uncooperative, unaccountable behaviour of police services, in particular, the Kitigan Zibi Police Services (herein referred to as KZPS). In addition, I as a community member of the Kitigan Zibi Anishnabeg (herein referred to as KZA), I am also unsatisfied with the Chief and Council’s lack of leadership in directing concrete action and demanding accountability from the police concerning my daughter’s case. The lack of support, transparency and accountability is unacceptable. As you can appreciate, the disappearance of your child speaks volumes of worries, immense feelings of loss, isolation, heartache, mental anguish, and extreme emotional pain. I live with these emotions every minute of each day. I demand my right to services, justice and support in locating my daughter. I have been exercising my rights all along. However, I feel as though I do not have the right to exercise my right to information concerning my minor daughter. For instance; when I called the Surete du Quebec to speak to a police officer investigating the Shannon Alexander case, I was informed to speak to the Kitigan Zibi police services because le Surete do not have my file, and I am not related to Shannon. I understand the nature of confidentiality, however, where else can I turn for police information when in fact I receive nil to no information from the KZPS. And, when I do receive any information from the KZPS, it is very skeleton and unprofessional in nature. Furthermore, the police only provided information after much persistence on my part. My demand for reports is a very...

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By Brendan Kennedy, The Ottawa Citizen May 13, 2009 The bones found near Maniwaki on Saturday — raising suspicions they might be part of the remains of two teenage girls missing from the area for more than eight months — were determined by a Montreal lab to have come from an animal. The bones were found beside Highway 107, near Highway 117, in Grand-Remous, and reported to the Sureté du Québec, which sent them to be analysed. Maisy Odjick, 17, and Shannon Alexander, 18, were last seen in the Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg First Nation-Maniwaki area on Sept. 5. Their families have been frustrated by a lack of clues as to their whereabouts. The files are being jointly investigated by the Kitigan Zibi Police Department and the Sûreté, because Maisy comes from the reserve and Shannon’s home is off it. Their families have offered a $10,000 reward. Anyone with information is asked to call the Sûreté du Québec at 819-310-4141 or the Kitigan Zibi Police Department at 819-449-6000. Maisy Odjick is six feet tall, 125 pounds, with brown eyes and black hair. She has two piercings in her bottom lip and one in her left nostril, and scars on top of her right eyebrow and left forearm. Shannon Alexander is five-foot-nine, 145 pounds, with brown eyes and dark brown hair. She has acne and pierced ears, often wears a silver necklace with a feather on it, and has a scar on her left...

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http://www.ottawacitizen.com/news/determine+bones+found+near+Maniwaki+human/1584417/story.html The Ottawa Citizen May 11, 2009 OTTAWA — Quebec provincial police have sent bones found near Maniwaki, where two teenaged girls disappeared last summer, for lab analysis to see whether they are human.The bones were found by Kitigan-Zibi police about 8:15 p.m. Saturday, and they called in the provincial police. The bones were found beside Road 107 near Road 117 in Grand-Remous. A police spokesman in Montreal didn’t know who first noticed the bones. It was too late at night to investigate the scene, so officers stayed there all night. On Sunday morning more investigators arrived from Montreal to take photos and remove the bones. They’ve been sent for lab analysis, but for the moment no one knows whether they are human or from an animal. Maisy Odjick, 17, and Shannon Alexander, 18, were last seen in the area on Sept. 5, 2008. Their family has been frustrated by the lack of clues to their disappearance. Police said it will take several days at least to get information about the bones. © Copyright (c) The Ottawa...

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On may 2nd, the search for Maisy Odjick and Shannon Alexander continued, on the Kitigan Zibi reserve, 8 months after the two girls went missing. The search was organized by the Odjick family, with the help of Amnesty International, which donated  2 buses to help transport volunteers from Ottawa who wished to help with the search. The two buses were filled, and many more showed up on top of that. All in all, over 240 people came to help scour the woods around the reserve for any clue at all that might lead to answers. Four member of the Missing Justice collective in Montreal attended. The search was led by Search and Rescue Global 1, a pro-search team run entirely by volunteers. The SAR team was overwhelmed by the number of volunteers, so some people had to wait in the community hall for their turn to join a search team. We were divided into groups of 15-20 people, with 2 team leaders. Everyone had a stick of some kind to help them push aside some of the thick brush that we would encounter. We lined up for instructions: we were to yell ‘stop ‘ along with a number we had been given whenever we saw anything that might be a clue. A clue could be anything at all: a beer bottle, a piece of cloth, strange litter, anything.Then, a team leader would come and find us, look at the clue, and maybe choose to radio it in. At times distracted by nightmarish visions of what we might find, at times pre-occupied with getting through the insanely thick bush unscathed, we walked through the woods, in as straight a line as possible given the fact that we were supposed to go through all obstacles as opposed to around them. There were a few times when we lost site of the people beside us, but it was never long before someone yelled ‘stop.’ Nothing of interest was found, and even with 240 volunteers searching from early morning until dark, only a small fraction of the land was covered. Talking to people during breaks, and while eating, revealed that people had very different political backgrounds and ideas about violence against First Nations women, and about Maisy and Shannon’s case in particular, but the common link was always: it’s horrible; answers are need. We were extremely well-fed that day, as numerous volunteers from the community had generously prepared mountains of food for us all. It struck me, how every aspect of the search was volunteer-run, except for the few police who were hanging around. I spoke to a member of the Search and...

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