Manitoba

'I don't know why someone would want to hurt my baby sister': Aspiring doctor found dead in Winnipeg apartment

Sheena-Marie Dubois was found dead in her Young Street apartment on Nov. 6. Police say her death is considered suspicious.

Sheena-Marie Dubois told CBC in 2013 she dreamed of practising medicine on a First Nation

Dubois was studying at the University of Manitoba, with the goal of becoming a doctor. (Sheena-Marie Dubois/Facebook)

Christine Baker said it only took one word from police and she knew her sister had died.

Her younger sister, Sheena-Marie Dubois, was found dead inside of her Young Street apartment on Nov. 6.

"I'm thrown for a loop," said Baker. "I don't know why someone would want to hurt my baby sister."

Baker has no idea how her sister died, but said she believes someone hurt her. She said she had to cover up scratches and bruises on the 30-year-old's body for her funeral.

"[Police] couldn't give me anything then. They can't give me anything now," said Baker.

Winnipeg Police Service said there is an open and active investigation being led by the homicide unit. Const. Rob Carver said Dubois's death is considered suspicious.

Christine Baker says she doesn't know how her sister died, but says she believes someone hurt her. (Jeff Stapleton/CBC)

Baker said her sister's short life was filled with physical, sexual, and mental abuse. She said they both were in the child welfare system and battled addictions.

"[Our] mother was never around. She was an alcoholic," said Baker. "I was basically Sheena's mother — I was there for her. She went through a lot."

In 2013, Dubois was profiled by CBC News about what she had overcome to get to university. She was entering her fourth year of her bachelor of science program at the University of Manitoba.

Sheena-Marie Dubois talked to CBC about her dreams of becoming a doctor:

Aspiring doctor overcomes the odds

9 years ago
Duration 1:52
A Winnipeg aboriginal student who has lived what she calls a "life of chaos" is finishing a science degree and working towards a career as a doctor.

"When I do get into medical school — because I will get into medical school — I know I'm going to have a really good future, despite all the circumstances that I had growing up as a child," she said during that 2013 interview.

She was also studying to take the Medical College Admission Test. During the interview, she said that statistically, because she was First Nations from Sagkeeng, she shouldn't be studying for the MCAT.

"The Aboriginal women out there, that are dead in a ditch, that are not here — and right now, I am here at the University of Manitoba studying to be a doctor of medicine.… Something had to be there carrying me along the way," she said.

Police were outside 430 Young St. for most of the day on Nov. 6 after Dubois's body was found inside her suite. (Tyson Koschik/CBC)

Baker said her sister was a passionate voice around missing and murdered Indigenous woman and girls, because she was a survivor of sexual exploitation.

"Now she's one of them," said Baker. "It's so shocking because she was fighting for that."

She said Dubois went to police two years ago about the man who exploited her when she was a young teen. 

Her sister found the strength to finally speak up because of the Indigenous women who never got the chance, Baker said.

"She was tired of being afraid. She couldn't move forward. She couldn't let it go," she said. "She wanted justice."

Baker said Dubois was set to testify at the man's trial in the new year.    

'I don't know why someone would want to hurt my baby sister'

4 years ago
Duration 2:00
Christine Baker said it only took one word from police and she knew her sister had died. Sheena-Marie Dubois was found dead inside of her Young Street apartment on Nov. 6.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jillian Taylor

CBC Reporter

Jillian Taylor has been with CBC Manitoba since 2012 and has been working as a journalist for nearly 15 years. She was born and raised in Manitoba and is a member of the Fisher River Cree Nation. In 2014, she was awarded the Commonwealth Broadcasting Association's travel bursary, which took her to Australia to work with Indigenous journalists. Find her on Twitter: @JillianLTaylor

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