WATCH ABOVE: A round dance was held on the Alexis First Nation Saturday as family and friends gathered to put a spotlight on the search for a missing Alberta woman.
Hundreds of community members on the Alexis First Nation came together Saturday to participate in a round dance marking the grim anniversary of Misty Potts’ disappearance.
On March 16, 2015, Potts got into her car and drove away from her house, never to be seen or heard from again.
The 37-year-old was last seen at last seen at the intersection of Highways 43 and 765 near the edge of the First Nation.
Family members said Saturday’s round dance was a way to honour Potts and keep the search for her alive.
“We’re trying to bring awareness to her case,” Potts’ sister Eva said. “We’re also doing it for healing and to come together and pray and to let the public know Misty was a special person.”
Potts was an accomplished young woman with a bright future. She was working on her PhD at Athabasca University and her academic work was intertwined with work she did for her community. She also completed a documentary called “Awakening Spirit” that looked at the impact of industrialization on First Nations communities.
“She has a family and we miss her and we love her very much and we just want her to come home,” Eva Potts said.
But in the time before her disappearance, Potts had gone through a rough patch. Her brother died in 2011, then her marriage fell apart that same month. She lost custody of her young son. Sister Eva said Potts turned to marijuana, then harder drugs.
“It means a lot to my family – we don’t know what we’re dealing with, we don’t know how to cope. That’s why we started doing the round dance, because we don’t know where Misty is and there’s no evidence that’s she’s alive or something happened to her.”
RCMP tell Global News that this is “very much an ongoing investigation” where officers are following up on leads. Police declined to comment when asked specifically about whether there are any suspects.
“Misty was very cultural and so the round dance feels right – it’s part of our culture,” Eva Potts said.