Ottawa Police are appealing to the public to help in the search for a missing Inuk woman

This, on the same day that nationwide vigils were held for missing and murdered Indigenous women -- including here on Parliament Hill.

Mary Papatsie, who had moved from Nunavut to Ottawa, has been missing since April.  Major Crime is now investigating.

This is not how Mary Papatsie's brother July had hoped to celebrate her 40th birthday; at a vigil on Parliament Hill, praying for her safe return. 

“I'm grateful that all of you are here and I hope we will find her soon,” he told the crowd.

Mary Papatsie, a mother of 10 children, disappeared in April but wasn't reported missing to police until June.

“Somebody has to know out there,” July Papatsie said in an interview after the vigil ended, “Somebody needs to know on the streets because that's where she spent the majority of time on.”

Mary Papatsie had been living in an apartment in Ottawa’s west end but she told her brother it was haunted. So she moved here to Vanier living in shelters and on the street.

Missing Person Posters of Mary Papatsie have been sent as far north as Nunavut where Mary was from.  Ottawa Police Major Crime has taken over the investigation because of what they call "suspicious" elements.

Staff-sergeant Bruce Pirt is with Ottawa Major Crime, “I do have fears that something bad has happened to her,” he said, “But I need someone with information to come forward and help us out.  We just can't do it alone.”

Vigils were held across Canada today in memory of the twelve hundred missing and murdered Indigenous women, women like Mary Papatsie, remembered by her children and the families now raising them. Rachel Quinn adopted Mary’s youngest son Joshua, who is now four years old.  Quinn also spoke at the vigil.

“She has children that long for her laughter and love,” Quinn said, “I want her to come home so he (Joshua) can develop relationship with her and know himself through her.  But no matter what, we want closure, we want to know what's happened.”
Another Inuk woman, Annie Pootoogook, was also remembered today at that vigil.  She was found dead in the Rideau River last year.

Major crime is also investigating that case and hopes to wrap up that investigation later this fall.