Tanya Brooks’ family and friends hold memorial walk to mark anniversary of her murder
HALIFAX – It was an emotional day for the family and friends of Tanya Brooks, as they marked the anniversary of her tragic death.
“She was kind, generous, loving, and a good daughter, a good friend,” Connie Brooks Adams said of her daughter.
Tanya’s body was found in a trench along the side of St. Patrick’s-Alexandra School on May 11, 2009. She was 35-years-old at the time of her death and a mother to five children.
Every year, usually the Mother’s Day weekend, the Tanya Brooks Memorial March is held in Halifax. Dozens come together to honour Brooks’ life and bring awareness about the high number of missing and murdered Aboriginal women in our country.
“It’s a very big issue in Canada. There’s almost 1,200 murdered Aboriginal women,” said Dorene Bernard.
Leading the march was Tanya’s mother and her children. Slowly, the group walked along Gottingen Street, retracing the last known steps Brooks took before she was killed.
Everyone taking part in the walk feels a strong connection to Brooks and her case, especially the sister of Loretta Saunders.
Saunders, also an Aboriginal woman, was looking into Tanya’s unsolved homicide for her thesis when she was murdered last year.
“This is the case that my sister was studying, so I definitely feel connected to the cause and fighting for justice for our missing and murdered women,” Delilah Saunders told Global News.
Part of the goal from today’s walk is to keep Brooks’ case in the spotlight. Her murder remains unsolved and her family wants to see justice served.
“The violence against women is an important issue in First Nations communities and something we need to bring an end to,” said Bob Gloade, Chief of Millbrook First Nation.
Police believe there are people who know what happened to Brooks but haven’t come forward. They’re asking anyone with any information to contact them.
They have a message for the those who took Tanya’s life.
“To those who have perpetrated this crime, we want you to understand that we are not going to give up. The family is not going to give up until we see someone brought to justice here so we will continue to look for you,” said Supt. Robin McNeil of the Halifax Regional Police.
The province of Nova Scotia has added Tanya Brooks’ case to its Rewards for Major Unsolved Crimes Program. The government is offering a reward of up to $150,000 for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for her murder.