Sto:lo, B.C. chiefs get involved in advocating for Shawnee Inyallie, missing from Hope since July

Hope to Mission river search yields no clues, meetings with RCMP, political advocacy continue

Shawnee Morita Inyallie, 29, is described by police as an aboriginal female with black hair and brown eyes, 163 centimetres tall (5’4) weighing 54 kilograms (120 pounds). Submitted photo

Shawnee Morita Inyallie, 29, is described by police as an aboriginal female with black hair and brown eyes, 163 centimetres tall (5’4) weighing 54 kilograms (120 pounds). Submitted photo

A river search from Hope to Mission did not yield more clues about the disappearance of an Indigenous Hope woman, now family are appealing to higher levels of government to bring Shawnee Inyallie’s case into the spotlight.

Inyallie, a 29-year-old woman who is described by her mother as a happy-go-lucky and bubbly girl who talks to anyone, disappeared without a trace after being seen by family in the Hope area July 11. Despite several searches by the family and RCMP since then, crucial details are still missing about where and when she was last seen and what she was wearing when she went missing.

READ MORE: Highway search Aug. 12 for missing Hope woman

Twenty volunteer searchers and fishermen in three boats from First Nations communities in Yale, Agassiz and Cheam braved the pouring rain to search the Fraser River from Hope to Mission Sept. 16. This was about half the turnout the family had for the last search, a highway search from Agassiz to Hope along Highway 7 in August.

“We didn’t get the turnout that we had hoped for. We only had five boats and about twenty volunteers, so that was half of what we had the last time. It’s hard to search the river with three boats, but everybody did the best that they could,” said Linda Kay Peters, Inyallie’s aunt and councillor at Seabird Island Band. “It was raining so hard the one day and those guys were out in the river, I was just so worried about them. And, again we didn’t get the search and rescue, so there we are again doing it all on our own.”

The family has run into bureaucratic ‘red tape’ in their efforts to get professionals with experience searching for missing persons involved in their searches for Inyallie. Because of the inability to get Hope Search and Rescue to help them, Peters said she would like to see a search and rescue organization for First Nations in the area.

READ MORE: Family to search Fraser River from Hope to Mission for 29-year-old woman, missing for over a month

Peters has also been leading the charge in bringing Shawnee’s case to the highest levels of politics.

At an Assembly of First Nations meeting in Quebec mid-September, Shxw’owhamel First Nation si:yam councillor Shane James pulled together Peters, Grand Chief Doug Kelly, president of the Sto:lo Tribal Council, and Terry Teegee, regional chief for the B.C. Assembly of First Nations. Teegee is also a relative of Inyallie’s from Northern B.C.

All three spoke about Inyallie and the issue of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls.

“We brought Shawnee to a national level and I was happy about that,” she said. “I think we got a good response. The topic of murdered and missing Indigenous women always comes up at our national meetings because it is something that everyone has been trying to do something about.”

READ MORE: Hope woman, missing without a trace, demands our community’s attention

Peters said she was surprised at the depth of information given on the police efforts to find Inyallie at a meeting with the family Monday, following a phone call from chief Kelly to Superintendent Bryon Massie, officer in charge for the RCMP’s Upper Fraser Valley Regional Detachment.

The family has been meeting with the RCMP weekly since Inyallie’s disappearance, but this was the first meeting Peters said she felt supported as the family was presented with details about searches completed, the communities the police has gone into and the number of people they’ve spoken to on Inyallie’s case.

Another meeting between the Sto:lo Tribal Council and Supt. Massie is planned for Friday, where Peters will speak about the search for her niece, trying to work with search and rescue and the red tape the family has gotten caught up in when conducting searches for their missing loved one.

Along with Peters, family members Patrick Pete, Inyallie’s brother, and Jeanie Kay-Moreno, Peters’ sister, have been organizing the land and river searches.


Is there more to this story?


news@hopestandard.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

First Nations fishermen from local communities assisted the family in searching for Shawnee Inyallie Sept. 16. Submitted photo

First Nations fishermen from local communities assisted the family in searching for Shawnee Inyallie Sept. 16. Submitted photo

Some of the 20 searchers who combed the riverbanks and searched on the Fraser River from Hope to Mission. Submitted photo

Some of the 20 searchers who combed the riverbanks and searched on the Fraser River from Hope to Mission. Submitted photo

Just Posted

RCMP don’t want to see you having your vehicle towed away after an aggressive driving infraction. (RCMP photo)
Chilliwack RCMP hand out more than 500 tickets in aggressive driving crackdown

Police say they’ll continue to focus on speeding, aggressive and distracted driving

Home sales for November in the Chilliwack and District Real Estate Board were profitable for sellers because of historically low supply. (Paul Henderson/ The Progress)
Historically low supply leads to higher prices in Chilliwack real estate market

City dwellers want to relocate to the eastern Fraser Valley and are willing to pay a high price

Riders will need to don face coverings to ski and snowboard at Manning this winter. (Manning Park Resort photo)
Manning Park slopes open early

Early season snowfall allowed for opening this weekend, 56 centimetre snow base recorded Nov. 30

Former Hope resident Jason Thomas Graff is set to be sentenced on charges of telecommunicating to lure a child and posession of child pornography at the Chilliwack Law Courts Jan. 28. (File photo)
Former Hope resident to be sentenced for child luring in Chilliwack court

Sentencing Jan. 28 at Chilliwack Law Courts following offences in Hope, Vancouver Island

Mr. Bergen, a statue of a working man, was stolen from a porch in Popkum on Nov. 18, along with a marble statue. (Submitted photo)
Heavy statue and fountain thieved off porch in Popkum

Rightful owner has had statue for 27 years and wants it returned

Motorists wait to enter a Fraser Health COVID-19 testing facility, in Surrey, B.C., on Monday, Nov. 9, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Another 694 diagnosed with COVID-19 in B.C. Thursday

Three more health care outbreaks, 12 deaths

Cops converge in a Marshall Road parking lot on Thursday afternoon following a reported police incident. (Ben Lypka/Abbotsford News)
Federal offender escapes, gets shot at and is taken back into custody in Abbotsford

Several branches of law enforcement find escapee a short distance from where he fled

A demonstrator wears representations of sea lice outside the Fisheries and Oceans Canada offices in downtown Vancouver Sept. 24, demanding more action on the Cohen Commission recommendations to protect wild Fraser River sockeye. (Quinn Bender photo)
First Nations renew call to revoke salmon farm licences

Leadership council implores use of precautionary principle in Discovery Islands

Ten-month-old Aidan Deschamps poses for a photo with his parents Amanda Sully and Adam Deschamps in this undated handout photo. Ten-month-old Aidan Deschamps was the first baby in Canada to be diagnosed with spinal muscular atrophy through Ontario’s newborn screening program. The test was added to the program six days before he was born. THE CANADIAN PRESS/HO, Children’s Hospital Eastern Ontario *MANDATORY CREDIT*
First newborn tested for spinal muscular atrophy in Canada hits new milestones

‘If Aidan had been born any earlier or anywhere else our story would be quite different’

(Pixabay)
Canadians’ mental health has deteriorated with the second wave, study finds

Increased substance use one of the ways people are coping

Lefeuvre Road, near Myrtle Avenue, was blocked to traffic on Thursday (Dec. 3) after an abandoned pickup truck was found on fire. Police are investigating to determine if there are any links to a killing an hour earlier in Surrey. (Shane MacKichan photo)
Torched truck found in Abbotsford an hour after killing in Surrey

Police still investigating to determine if incidents are linked

Surrey Pretrial centre in Newton. (Photo: Tom Zytaruk)
Surrey Pretrial hit with human rights complaint over mattress

The inmate who lodged the complaint said he needed a second mattress to help him manage his arthritis

A coal-fired power plant seen through dense smog from the window of an electric bullet train south of Beijing, December 2016. China has continued to increase thermal coal production and power generation, adding to greenhouse gas emissions that are already the world’s largest. (Tom Fletcher/Black Press)
LNG featured at B.C. energy industry, climate change conference

Hydrogen, nuclear, carbon capture needed for Canada’s net-zero goal

Most Read