Saskatchewan·Special Report

Single First Nations mother Brandy Maxie never gives up on dreams

Single mother Brandy Maxie is parenting to protect her children from the risks they face because they are First Nations.

She knows her children face risks because of their race

Brandy Maxie talks about how she talks to her daughter about the risks she faces as a First Nations woman. 0:29

Brandy Maxie finished high school while living in North Central in Regina. She had left her home on the White Bear First Nation at age 15, hoping to find a brighter future.

Instead, she found brutalization at the hands of predators. So, she went back to on-reserve life. She had two children, a girl and a boy, with a man.

Things didn't work out and it wasn't long before Maxie found herself back in North Central.

She said, for a while, life back on her reserve was good. She and her partner had a daughter and a son together. A stable family life seemed possible. But, it didn't work out.

Maxie moved herself and her two children back to Regina. She said she didn't want to give up on her dreams. She wanted to pursue post-secondary education. She wanted a car and a safe home for her two children.

But the only places she could afford and the only people who would rent to her were in North Central.

"There were people walking by drunk every day," Brandy said. "Sometimes with my kids, we'd walk to the park and no word of a lie someone followed every single time. They'd turn in to the alley. They'd make some kind of a signal. It was just too much for me."

For a year her children lived with their father, back on the reserve, while Maxie went to school, looked for employment and couch-surfed.Maxie said although it hurt her heart, she had to get her children away from the area.

During this time she said that not having a car made every trip out of whatever house she was calling home, scary.

"I always felt unsafe. I didn't want my kids to be seeing a lot of that," Maxie said.

Read about Maxie's chance at a new life here: Long road makes way for First Nations mother's fresh start

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CBC Saskatchewan is taking a closer look this week at missing and murdered indigenous women cases in the province. We are exploring everything from how mothers are raising their daughters differently to the role men play in finding a solution to what more needs to be done. 

We've also launched a way you can tell your story about how a missing and murdered indigenous case has touched your life. Share your story here

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