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Rose-Lee Mason was just a baby when her mother died.
“I think about her often. I’m always wondering [if] I have any of her mannerisms and stuff like that,” she said.
Rose-Lee is now 25 and has a child of her own. She recently started to connect with her birth family through Facebook, finding aunts and uncles as well as her grandmother.
“There’s also some aunts and uncles down in the states because they all got adopted out,” she said.
Rose-Lee has pieced together parts of her mom’s life through her adoptive mom, and has also learned some details through the RCMP who are responsible for her mom’s case.
She says her mom, Mavis Mason, was born on March 31, 1961 in Elk Point, Alta. and that she is from the Fishing Lake and Saddle Lake First Nations. She says it’s been difficult to learn much about her mom’s life through family because she spent much of her childhood in foster care.
“My adoptive mom knew her better than my biological family because they were friends,” she said.
“What I’ve heard is that she was very quiet. She kept to herself.”
Mason worried something bad would happen to her. Rose-Lee said that six months before her mom was killed, she asked her now-adoptive mom, ‘If anything ever happens to me, I want you to take Rose.’
Six months later Mason was stabbed to death. She was 29 years old.
Rose-Lee says she’s talked to the RCMP about her mom’s case. She knows that her mom had been into drugs and was working in the sex trade.
Nobody has been charged in her death.
“I understand it’s like, the trade that she’s in,” said Rose-Lee.
“I don’t expect them to find anybody because of how little evidence there was. But it would be nice if I could get some closure on that because they did take away my mother from me.”
Rose-Lee said she’d like RCMP to go over the evidence again, to go back and talk to people who were in the area when her mom died. She said she doesn’t talk to police much anymore, that she feels they’ve told her everything they could.
Mason’s’ case is held by the Project KARE unit.
When asked how she feels about the upcoming inquiry into missing and murdered women and girls, Rose-Lee said, “I think it’s about time.”
“I’ve always known what my mom did for a living, I’ve always known how she died and I think that there’s just so many missing and murdered Aboriginal women … I just think it’s time that we stop being stereotyped and stop being taken advantage of.”
CBC News continues to investigate missing and murdered indigenous women and girls in Canada, looking at the unsolved cases and telling the stories of the families and communities.