STATEMENT on MARY LANDS
June 23, 2006
STATEMENT on MARY LANDS
A Real Personal Connection
As many of you may have heard, one of the Missing
Women from the Downtown Eastside, has been located in
Saskatchewan. Mary Lands had been missing for 15
This case touches me on a number of fronts. First and
foremost though it is of a very personal nature.
When Mary Lands disappeared, her little children,
Jeannie and Stuart who were 4 and 7 years old at the
time were placed in the care of a very loving family for the
ensuing 15 years.
This family happens to be my sister, Gail and
brother-in-law, Daniel Parker. Gail and Daniel have
done an amazing job raising a number of aboriginal
children and Stuart in fact, at age 22 still resides
Gail and Daniel are very private and humble people.
Their work often goes unrecognized and I feel the need
to point this out. Daniel, along with Joseph Fossell
co-founded the aboriginal group, Warriors against
Violence. Gail is a counsellor facilitator with
Warriors. My niece, Katherine Grimm was formerly the
Executive Director. This group supports many first
nations who have been victimized and are/were
survivors of the residential school system.
While I know this is a joyous yet difficult time for
Jeannie and Stuart, I know they have been well
prepared by Gail and Daniel for this journey, which
they are about to embark on.
I've spoken with Gail and Daniel, early this morning
and I know they are busy assisting Stuart in his
preparations. They are a bit overwhelmed of course by
the media attention. They have a large family and I
just want to honour them both for the heartfelt work
that they continuously do.
I sincerely hope, that while the media is fixed on the
scenario of another missing women being found, that
they keep in mind that this issue goes far beyond the
sensational aspects of murdered sex trade workers. It
is so much more than just that.
While the media has often focused on the families of
the missing women, there are a number of other
families who have accomplished amazing things in
nurturing, caring and teaching honourable values to
vulnerable first nations citizens. They have assisted
in helping many overcome obstacles. Gail and Daniel are such two individuals.
Today I offer godspeed to Stuart and Jeannie,
moreover, I pay tribute to my wonderful Sister and
Brother-In-Law, Gail and Daniel.
Jamie Lee Hamilton