A sacred fire outside the Manitoba legislature that was to stay lit until answers about missing and murdered aboriginal women were found has been put out.
But Brenda Osborne, whose daughter Claudette has been missing since 2008, is still searching for answers about what happened to her daughter.
“We’re hoping and praying that things are going turn out still,” Brenda said.
She and others started camping outside the legislature on Oct. 1 in honour of Claudette, but left last Wednesday.
Brenda said she had to leave because two of Claudette’s children were recently taken into the care of Child and Family Services.
“I got a lot of things I have to deal with,” said Brenda, who’s been trying to bring attention to the province’s child-welfare system.
The CFS system has triggered years of heartache for the Osborne family.
Just two weeks before Claudette vanished in 2008, her newborn baby girl Patience was taken into care.
Claudette, 21, was battling a drug addiction and working in the sex trade when the baby was seized.
Brenda said Claudette was making it her mission to get clean so she could get the baby back, but then she vanished.
“July 10th she was born and she was gone July 24th,” Brenda said.
With the 1971 murder of her cousin Helen Betty Osborne lurking in the back of her mind, Brenda said she frequently reminded her daughter to be careful.
“I always told her that it was dangerous and how are you going to trust anybody?” she said.
Missing now for almost eight years, Brenda’s partner Gilbert Gauthier says going to bed at night hasn’t gotten easier.
“She cries everyday and it kills me,” he said.
Brenda wants to have input on an inquiry on missing and murdered indigenous women, the new Liberal government has committed to launch, and remains skeptical of the promise.
“We don’t even know what’s going to happen,” she said.
“Us families have nowhere to go, but wait by the phone.”