Missing & Murdered: The Unsolved Cases of Indigenous Women and Girls
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Despite the fact eight years have come and gone since Diane Bigeagle last saw her daughter, she often catches herself waiting by the phone.

"She always phoned me no matter what. Well, I mean, I had both her kids,” Diane said.

Cassidy is now 11 years old, and Talon will soon be nine.

“He was only nine months old,” Diane said of Talon when Danita went missing. She says both are starting to ask questions about what happened to their mom.

“I don’t know what to tell them.”

Danita is the youngest of six children and a member of the Ocean Man First Nation.

Her case is currently at a standstill. With no new leads, it now sits with the Regina Police Service Cold Case Unit.

According to the RCMP’s database­ Canada’s Missing­, Bigeagle was last seen in Regina on Feb. 11, 2007, in the 800 block of Victoria Avenue. Her profile on the site says she rarely leaves Regina and is known to frequent the downtown area.

But her mother has a different story. Diane says her neighbors told her Danita was grabbed by men driving a black SUV.

“From right in front of my house.... I went to the police and I went and told them," she said.

At the time, she was living at 1555 Garnet St.

“I couldn’t live there anymore. Like, when she first went missing I stayed by the phone and waited for her for over three months,” she said.

Diane doesn’t keep in contact with the police anymore because she says they’ve mocked her because she kept bringing in tips from people who told her things on the street.

“I won’t even talk to them because they are not sincere.”

In 2008 there were reports that Danita may have been seen in Manitoba. Diane lost count as to how many times she travelled to Winnipeg to scour the streets.

“I was being sent on wild goose chases. Like why was I doing their job?” Diane said, referring to the fact that police kept telling her about possible sightings in Manitoba and Alberta.

Danita had a hard childhood. She was put on Ritalin early on for her hyperactivity. She often pulled away from others. And then, her parents divorced.

“So we fought over her,” Diane said with a hint of guilt in her voice.

That’s when she admits Danita had seen a lot of drinking when she was younger.

“Like I would tell her, ‘Why do you want to ruin your life by drinking? Why don’t you want to go to school?’ And she would say, ‘Well, you used to do it, and I used to wonder why you did it. Now it’s my turn.’ And I told her, 'You know, don’t take too long because you could turn into an alcoholic and turn into an addict.' I said I know from [experience] you’re missing out on your kids' lives. And she said, 'Mom, I won’t always be like this.'”

Her mother says before she disappeared, Danita was starting trying to reach out for help.

The Bigeagle family would like to see a federal inquiry into missing and murdered indigenous women and girls.

“These guys are doing this all across Canada,” she says about the fact men think it’s OK to disrespect women.

She wants the stories of women and girls to be told through the inquiry so others can learn from it.

“Because some of the girls are trusting and they don’t realize there are predators out there," she said.

"Like, they think these guys are there to treat them nice and maybe buy them a beer, but it’s a way to grab them and take them.”