Crime Stoppers using Cree language to help solve historical missing persons cases

It’s a project that has been three years in the making but on Monday, Crime Stoppers sent out a video letter in the Cree “th” dialect through social media to help reach more people who can help solve cases now labelled as historical missing persons cases.

The video in Woodlands Cree is part of the Historical Missing Persons Project launched by Crime Stoppers.

Constable Ryan Ehalt is with the Saskatoon Police Service and is the coordinator for Saskatoon Crime Stoppers.

“We came up with the idea to write social media letters called to those who took the missing,” he said. “There’s going to be a series of letters going out we already released our initial one.”

Donna Merasty is a translator – and wrote out the letter in Cree.

“With reconciliation it is important that we communicate in a way where people feel more comfortable especially in their own language,” she said.

“If they want to speak to somebody in Cree they can phone the police and ask for a Cree translator.”

The overall message is powerful and asks Cree speakers if they can help by coming forward with any information that will help solve these historical missing persons cases.

“We are hoping we can find a Dene speaking individual who would like to volunteer their time to help with the translation of this letter as will and other languages,” said Ehalt.

“We know out of those 131 historical missing persons half of them are Indigenous. We know not all of them have been taken.”



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