Finding solutions for families of missing and murdered indigenous women

In 1996, at the age of 12, Krista Shore saw the bloody crime scene where her mother was brutally murdered. After her family was torn apart by the crime, Shore fell into a life of gangs, drugs and alcohol. She's since changed her life and is now helping others heal from similar situations.

Krista Shore shares how she overcame a life of violence after her mother was murdered

Krista Shore in front of the Regina house where her mother was found murdered in 1996. (Ntawnis Piapot/CBC)

Krista Shore stands in front of the home where her mother was found brutally murdered 19 years ago. Shore was only 12 years old when it happened. She remembers vividly that she was sitting on a couch in the home of her grandmother, which was just next door, just before hearing the horrific news.                                          

"No one was willing to tell me what happened to my mother. I ran into that house — past everybody and seen the scene of the crime," Shore recalled.

"It was horrible," she said of what she encountered. "There was nothing but blood all over and where my mom lay was soaked in blood."

From 1996, Krista Shore and her grandmother talk to police after Shore's mother was found dead. (CBC)

Her brother and father were originally suspects in her mother's murder. Shore's uncle, Brent Victor Daniels, was eventually convicted of second degree murder and sentenced to life in prison with no chance of parole for 17 years. It took the jury only two and half hours to decide his fate. 

"The judge said in sentencing that in all his years [as a judge] he has never come across a case so horrific," Shore said of the circumstances of the crime. 

Barbara Ann Shore was 39 years old when she was killed. She was the mother to four children and had dreams of becoming a teaching assistant or working with children. Shore said her mother was a loving and kind woman who was always helpful and generous. 

"My mother loved us deeply," she said. "She tried hard."

A family photo of Barbara Ann Shore with her son and a nephew. (Submitted to CBC)

Life after death

After her mother's death, Shore said she fell into what she calls an abyss. 

"I was a 12 year old girl writing my mom's obituary and making her funeral arrangements and plans and that was very hard for me to have to do," she said.

For the next 12 years Shore said she lived a transient lifestyle filled with alcohol, drugs and gangs. The desperation of her situation hit her when she was 24 and her two eldest children were apprehended by social services. Grief stricken, Shore decided to quit drugs and change her life. 

Shore is now 32 and has been sober for the past seven years. She has also had two more daughters, Arayah, five, and Sequoia, four.

Krista Shore with her daughters Arayah and Sequoia. (Ntawnis Piapot/CBC)

Shore working with Circle of Courage

She says embracing her culture and her role as a mother helped her change her life for the better. 

"That's my challenge and my honour in this life is to be able to, you know, role model a healthy way of living to my young children so that they're not going to be vulnerable," she said.

Shore has been running a women's group in North Central called Circle of Courage for the past four years. It's a cultural program meant to help at risk indigenous women. 

"I really want to empower people to stand up for their rights, know who they are [and] where they come from," she said. "[To] feel good about that and heal when they need to heal."

Shore noted the issue of missing and murdered women has affected every aspect of her life.

She added she is on a life long journey of healing and sharing her story is like medicine for her. Every time she shares her experience, she feels empowered.

"It took me one heck of a journey to come to a position of self determination and now that I have that self determination, I will not let anybody take that power away from me," she said.

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