A Manitoba mother from Sagkeeng First Nation who spent a night on the street looking for her missing daughter has said parents can’t wait on police for help – they have to put their lives on the line to save their kids.

Marilyn Courchene

Marilyn Courchene's daughter went missing nine years ago but she eventually found her after doing her own search. (Marilyn Courchene)

“We need to put elders on the street, to have a safe place for these young people to go there at Portage Place,” said Marilyn Courchene.

Courchene's daughter went missing nine years ago and she spent time at Portage Place mall as part of her approach to finding her daughter – it worked.

She got to know people on the street, eventually confronting gang members at a gang house and found her daughter.

“I was told later that I wasn't even aware that they had cameras all over, they had lights, guns, ammunition in there,” said Courchene. “But I think from the street people, I think word was sent to them to show me some respect.”

A place like a "grandmother's house" should be set up near Portage Place so girls in trouble have a safe place when they need help, Courchene said.