It was cool to watch as this series about a missing native girl came together. Listen to Part #1 A Missing Shoe – The Story of Delaine Copenace:

I randomly linked up with a producer with a connection to my hometown before we decided to focus on a story from the community. I just happened to be offered the chance to record my vocal tracks professionally at WAMM, a native arts organization that has been pumping out the prints that came to symbolize the game-changing Idle No More protests a few years back. I had to travel to Vancouver at one point anyways, so I was able to record the back and forth between my producer Karla and myself in the brand new Vancouver Public Library multimedia studios. Along the way I connected with a wide range of musicians and pod-casters who provided insights, offered up music for free and pointed me in the direction of great resources.

That doesn’t mean it’s been an easy story to tell.

While I’ve talked with several former and current police officers from different areas about the historic and current challenges of Aboriginal-police relations and the under-reporting of missing and murdered aboriginal cases, it wasn’t exactly the sort of subject everyone wanted to talk about on the record. That could be sensitivity as much as fear or dismissiveness. In any case, it’s hard to figure out exactly how to fix aboriginal-police relations in this country and improve outcomes for native women who go missing.

I felt it was important to be able to address concerns about the investigation honestly, through lens of racial tensions in the community. I wanted to identify specific details without drifting off into hypothetical or conspiracy theory territory. A death is a death after all. No ones competing for anything. The only thing we should all be looking for is the truth. But there’s no need to shy away from it.

I hope you feel like the episode does a fair job of examining the disappearance of Delaine Copenace. Her situation sheds a light on the reality behind the broader discussion of missing and murdered indigenous women. It’s a said story, but I hope you will come away with a better understanding and a personal commitment of one thing you will do to take action on the issue.






Written By: Drew Penner

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