The remains of an Inuk woman missing for five years were discovered at a construction site in Ottawa over the weekend.
Mary Papatsie was first reported missing in Ottawa in 2017. The police called her disappearance “suspicious” at the time.
On Oct. 29, construction workers contacted police after finding something suspicious in the backyard. The building has been closed for renovations for a year. The next day, Ottawa Police confirmed that they had discovered human remains they identified as Papatsie.
Papatsie was from Pangnirtung, Nunavut and moved to Ottawa in 2002. She was the youngest of eight children, mother to 10, and grandmother to one.
Her family held a memorial service for her in 2019. At the time, family members said it was hard for them to get closure about her death, since the body had not been located. We reached out to members of the Papatsie family, but they did not get back to us immediately.
According to Pauktuutit Inuit Women of Canada, Inuit women experience violence at a rate 14 times the national average.
Of the 231 recommendations in the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, 46 were specific to Inuit.