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Northern B.C. First Nation launches plea for action on 2 missing members

Saik’uz First Nation to host press conference on missing community members near Highway of Tears

Saik’uz First Nation and Carrier Sekani Child & Family Services will be hosting a press conference in Vanderhoof, B.C. on Nov. 3 to call for more action to find two missing community members.

Chelsey Quaw (Heron) and Jay Preston Raphael are both missing members of the Saik’uz First Nation, located 120 km west of Prince George, just outside Vanderhoof, B.C. and just 14 km south of Highway 16. Highway 16 between Prince George and Prince Rupert is known as the Highway of Tears, due to the high number of missing and murdered women in the area, the majority of whom over the years have been Indigenous.

The press conference is planned for Friday, Nov. 3, 2023 starting at 2 p.m. at the Vanderhoof Tourism Cultural Centre.

Chelsey Quaw is a 29-year-old Indigenous woman with brown hair, brown eyes who vanished from her community last month.

She stands five feet, 10 inches tall and weighs about 120 pounds. She was possibly wearing blue jeans and a purple winter jacket when she went missing in the early morning hours of Oct. 11, 2023 from a residence on the Saik’uz First Nation.

Several search and rescue teams as well as community groups formed search parties to look for Quaw with no results.

Jay Preston Raphael has been missing from the community just over eight months.

Raphael is a 28-year-old male with black hair and brown eyes, and unique tattoos on his neck, chest and arm.

He is five feet, nine inches tall and weighs approximately 143 pounds.

Raphael was last seen on Feb. 25, 2023 at Saik’uz First Nation wearing a black coat, blue jeans black runners and a baseball hat.

Saik’uz First Nation and the families are seeking more information about the missing community members, are calling for more response from the RCMP and are asking for additional community volunteers and resources to be deployed. The community has an on-reserve population of about 400.

Chief Priscilla Mueller of Saik’uz First Nation, family of the missing persons, and Mary Teegee, executive director of Carrier Sekani Child & Family Services are all expected to speak at the conference about the missing community members. Teegee and Mueller will take questions as part of the press conference, however, the families will not.

Anyone with any information can contact Vanderhoof RCMP at 250-567-2222 or Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477.

READ MORE: RCMP renews public assistance call to locate missing man

READ MORE: Search continues for missing Vanderhoof woman Chelsey Quaw

Ruth Lloyd

About the Author: Ruth Lloyd

After moving back to Williams Lake, where I was born and graduated from school, I joined the amazing team at the Williams Lake Tribune in 2021.
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