Margaret Leishman, whose son Philip has been missing since July 2004, is calling for more attention to be given to cases of missing aboriginal men, in addition to those of aboriginal women.

Recent numbers released by the RCMP show eight aboriginal women have gone missing in the Northwest Territories since 1960, and 35 aboriginal men.

Margaret Leishman says Philip was last seen passing through Kakisa, N.W.T., with a friend who was heading out East.

"A lot of focus is being done on the aboriginal women," she said.

Philip Leishman

Philip Leishman of Kakisa, N.W.T., has been missing since July 2004. (family photo)

"I understand that, too. It's really important that we find everybody. It's really emotional for me to just sit here . . . to sit here and talk about my son.​"

N.W.T. RCMP spokesperson Const. Elenore Sturko says it's important to report missing people as soon as possible.

"If you notice someone hasn't contacted you in their normal habit, if they normally call you every week and suddenly they haven't, go to the RCMP," she said.

"Go to your local detachment, and if they are found safely in a short period of time, that's great. If not, we will begin an investigation once we are contacted."

Leishman says her son was often busy with work and would go for extended periods of time without contacting her.

She says she hopes that the spotlight on missing aboriginal women will help raise awareness about missing men as well. She asks people with possible information about any missing person to go to the police.

"Let the RCMP know because there are people that are missing — there are families left behind, and children, and they all worry about each other​," she said.