Indigenous

CBC adds oldest Manitoba case so far to MMIW database: 56 years later, still no answers

As part of continuing CBC's coverage of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls, Flora Muskego is the latest case to be added to its database and oldest case in Manitoba.

Flora Muskego was found frozen to death in 1960 near Norway House

Flora Muskego was found dead on the Norway House Cree Nation in 1960. (Supplied by family)

Flora Muskego was found frozen to death in a snow drift near Norway House First Nation 56 years ago.

Her family is still wondering what happened to the 22-year-old on Thursday, December 9, 1960.

There was a small newspaper clipping from 1960 in the Winnipeg Free Press stating when Muskego was found and that she was last seen just the day before. It also said a coroner's inquest was pending on the police investigation. 

Muskego is buried in Norway House today.

As part of continuing CBC's coverage of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls, Muskego is the latest case to be added to its database and oldest case uncovered by CBC in the province of Manitoba.

Sylvia Grier, 64, of Saskatoon remembers her aunt. 

"I remember how beautiful she was," said Grier, also a Norway House community member.  At the young age of eight, Muskego introduced Grier to make-up. Grier remembers her aunt wearing beautiful clothes and always having nice shoes. 

"I remember going to the movies with her." 

"Dies in drift" reads a headline on a 1960 Winnipeg Free Press article about the death of Flora Muskego in Norway House, Man. (CBC)
Before her death, Muskego was living in Winnipeg working in a hospital. 

"She had come home from Winnipeg, in fact, she came home with a baby boy."  That baby boy would become Grier's cousin. 

"She was by herself. She was a single mother." 

But raising her son would come to a quick halt. 

Muskego was found on an ice road near Fort Island, which is part of the community of Norway House, Grier said. 

"She had been found in the snow, along that stretch of road." 

There was no indication how Muskego died, Grier said. But she remembers knowing Muskego was not dressed for winter when her body was found. 

In those days, people were skeptical of the RCMP, said Grier. So the likelihood of finding out what happened to Muskego seemed faint.

"Most of these cases got swept under the table because the couldn't trust the local police department." 

The RCMP D Division did not have a homicide file or any file for that matter on Muskego. 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Originally from Obishikokaang (Lac Seul First Nation) located in northwestern Ontario, Martha Troian is an investigative journalist who frequently contributes to CBC News, including work on the multiple award-winning and ongoing Missing & Murdered: The Unsolved Cases of Indigenous Women and Girls. Follow her @ozhibiiige

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