By Trina Roache
APTN National News
Friends and family are looking for any leads to help find a young Mi’kmaq woman from Cape Breton, Nova Scotia.
Chrisma Denny, 23, was last seen on the Eskasoni First Nation on September 11.
Denny grew up in a large family with eleven siblings. Her mother committed suicide when Denny was young, and as a result, Chrisma grew up bouncing from one foster home to the next. Family say she has struggled with drug use. Her aunt Elaine Denny says the child welfare system, poverty and addiction all play a role in her disappearance.
In a written release, the family says, “society failed Chrisma Joy Denny one turn after another.”
Though she hasn’t been seen for two months, Denny was only reported missing last week by her sister Wasowek Denny.
She says Chrisma often stayed with friends in Sydney, a nearby city in Cape Breton, and was known to travel to Elsipogtog in New Brunswick. But for the past two months, there has been no word from her.
The last time Denny was seen was Sept. 11, when she went to pick up her welfare cheque from the band office. Five cheques have been issued since but not picked up.
The Native Women’s Association of Nova Scotia says Chrisma fit all the statistics to put her at high risk; from poverty to child welfare to addiction. “Communities often don’t have the resources to help,” said president Cheryl Maloney. “There was no place for Chrisma, she’s just one more statistic.”
And Denny is one more reason why Maloney is calling on the Harper government for an inquiry into missing and murdered indigenous women in Canada.
The community is rallying around the family.
Earlier this week members held a vigil and are also working on a poster campaign hoping someone has seen her.
“We are very concerned in the disappearance of Chrisma Joy Denny. We urgently and compassionately ask CBRM and rest of the Mi’kmaq communities for their help in finding or if they know the whereabouts of Chrisma Joy Denny. The community and the family are very worried about Chrisma and they need your help.”
Denny is described as 5’ 6” tall, 145 lbs with brown hair, brown eyes and dark skin.
Police say there’s nothing to indicate foul play at this point.
Police are asking anyone with information to contact Cape Breton Regional Police at 902-563-5151, Eskasoni RCMP at 902-379-2822, or anonymously through Crime Stoppers.