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‘Enough is enough’: Family of Tanya Brooks calls for justice 13 years after murder

Click to play video: 'Memorial walk held for Tanya Brooks 13 years after her murder'
Memorial walk held for Tanya Brooks 13 years after her murder
WATCH: A memorial walk was held Tuesday for Tanya Brooks, an Indigenous woman from Millbrook First Nation who was murdered 13 years ago. As Amber Fryday reports, her friends and family have never forgotten her or their search for justice – May 10, 2022

It’s been 13 years since Tanya Brooks was killed in Halifax.

It’s also been 13 years of police trying to find the person responsible, but her family isn’t giving up.

“It’s been going on for so long, the injustice of Indigenous people, and enough is enough,” said Tanya’s sister Vanessa Brooks on Tuesday.

She, along with family and supporters gathered for a memorial for Tanya in front of the Halifax Regional Police headquarters.

Family and supporters of Tanya Brooks are seen in front of HRP headquarters on May 10, 2022. Amber Fryday

“It has to end and the only way it ends is if we are united and together,” said Brooks.

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Tanya was a mother of five from the Millbrook First Nation in Nova Scotia.

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She was killed on May 10, 2009, her body left in the window well of St. Patrick’s-Alexandra School in Halifax. The murder remains unsolved.

Vanessa Brooks described her sister as “tenacious, headstrong, stubborn, artistic, loving, caring and kind.”

Feeling her sister’s spirit continues to give Brooks strength to keep fighting, she said.

Brooks hopes Tanya’s legacy is awareness of violence against Indigenous women across the country.

In 2017, she testified in hearings for the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG), and was forced to relive the trauma of losing her sister.

Brooks said she will not stop until justice is served.

“When that day comes and I believe it will, I will stand with my brothers and sisters to get justice for their loved ones.”

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In the meantime, Brooks said the annual memorial walk for Tanya will go on as long as she’s alive.

Denise John, a victim support navigator at the Mi’kmaw Friendship Centre, has helped Tanya Brooks’ family organize rallies for justice for the past eight years.

Because of the pandemic, her family held memorials virtually in 2020 and 2021.

“This year it’s very important that we came out to do this walk because we want to keep the awareness,” said John at the rally.

“Her murder, it has been 13 years and there’s still no justice.”

Brooks said she wants anyone who has information concerning her sister’s murder to come forward.

“If you’ve seen something or if you know something, then I know the weight of it, it sitting heavy on your heart. Then I would implore you to free yourself,” she said.

“As insignificant as it may seem to you, it could be the one thing we need to close our case.”

— With files from Elizabeth McSheffrey

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