Family hangs neckties across Winnipeg in memory of missing indigenous men

Family of a man who went missing over a year ago have launched a campaign to raise awareness for missing and murdered indigenous men.

Family of Colten Pratt, who has been missing since 2014, inspired by MMIW red ribbon campaign

Colten Pratt's mother Lydia Daniels wraps a men's tie around a guard rail on Long Plain First Nation. (Supplied)

The family of a man who went missing over a year ago has launched a campaign to raise awareness for missing and murdered indigenous men.

Colten Pratt went missing on Nov.7 of 2014. He was 26 years old at the time. Pratt was last seen at the bus shelter at the corner of Main Street and Redwood Avenue, near the Billy Mosienko bowling alley, police said.

On Saturday, Pratt's mother Lydia Daniels, his aunt Jacqueline Daniels and other family members hung neckties across Winnipeg in his memory. Ties were left on posts on the Redwood Bridge, at The Forks, in Osborne Village and downtown near the Marlborough Hotel, which is one of the places where he was last spotted.

Pratt's relatives came up with the necktie idea after being moved by the Red Cloth Ribbons Memorial campaign led by Althea Guiboche and others. That group started stringing bits of red ribbon on bridges around the city in recent weeks in honour of missing and murdered indigenous women.

Daniels said the investigation into Pratt's disappearance is still active and the family is encouraging people who may have details about what happened to come forward.
Colten Pratt was last spotted in downtown Winnipeg on Nov. 7, 2014. (WPS/Submitted)

Daniels added that the necktie campaign isn't just about her missing nephew.

"It's not all Colten. You know, we desperately want him home, we want to find out what happened to him [but] we know that there's other families," she said.

Hanging up the neckties has helped the family cope with their loss, Daniels added.

"It felt like it was something very positive…. It's the whole issue of suspended grief — we don't even want to call it that, but the suspended worry of not knowing," said Daniels.

"We do these sort of things to keep Colten in the media and keep Colten in the public mind — it helps us."

A Facebook page about the necktie campaign has been set up and the family has already started to receive positive feedback from the community, Daniels said.

The neckties have also been hung throughout Long Plain First Nation, where Colten and his family are from.

Pratt is described as 5-foot-10, weighing approximately 160 pounds, with short brown hair and brown eyes. He was last seen wearing a grey T-shirt, brown plaid jacket, blue jeans and a grey tuque, as seen in the photo.

Anyone who is able provide any information that could assist in the investigation is urged to contact the Winnipeg Police Service's missing persons unit at 204-986-6250.