Friends, I just wanted to follow up on my last column here in News/NorthThat one had to do with learning how to read stories in the news between the lines, to get at the real message.

Government has an intended, purposeful way of having us look the other way to avoid real issues affecting our lives.

This kind of undermining often even takes it one step forward.

One case which has been before us for some weeks now is the story about Brittany Martel, 27, of Hay River, whose body was found at the side of the road just outside of Merritt, B.C., in late July.

Her grieving family had to raise the money to get her body back north for the funeral, only to be left with one rather disturbing matter to deal with.

Most of us will remember how the former Harper administration chose to label missing and murdered Indigenous women as a criminal issue, and not a social one, which is what it still is.

In the case of Brittany Martel, the RCMP officially deemed it ‘not suspicious’, although if she were white there is little doubt there would be such a hue and cry, especially since she was found without her shoes and cell phone!

Her Aunt Dolly is now left out in the cold, to renew her efforts to eventually clear up this case.

What also touches so close to home is that Brittany Martel had dreams of becoming an artist.

From our small town of Radilih Koe, Fort Good Hope, we had two artists, Freddy Edgi and John Turo, who died away from home, the former as far away as Seattle, Washington.

My late grandfather, Peter Mountain Sr., told me that when you are away from home to do something, you have to do only that, and nothing else.

With that in mind I now have two degrees, one in the fine arts and the other a Masters of Environmental Studies.

Lately, too, I’ve begun to hold various arts events, with the help of the Fort Good Hope RCMP, for the youth and women at risk.

The idea is we have to do our part to keep issues like missing and murdered Indigenous women off the front pages, both from the official police files and from our individual lives.

Mahsi, thank you.

Antoine Mountain

Antoine Mountain is a Dene artist and writer originally from Radilih Koe/Fort Good Hope. He can be reached at www.mountainarts.com.

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