The search team in Lac La Ronge for Jim Brady and Abbie Halkett. From left to right: Michael Nest, Deanna Reder, Eric Bell, Thompson Mckenzie and Stanley Roberts

media release

Postponed: Search for 1960s missing Indigenous leaders leads to archives

January 14, 2020

Ian Bryce, University Communications and Marketing, 236-880-2187,

UPDATE - January 15, 2020: Due to inclement weather, this event will be rescheduled to a future date.

Simon Fraser University First Nations Studies Chair Deanna Reder will speak about the disappearances of Métis leader Jim Brady and Cree councilor Abbie Halkett more than 50 years ago, and the impact on northern Saskatchewan’s Indigenous community as part of the President’s Faculty Lecture Series on Wednesday, January 15.

Reder, whose research focuses on the understudied archive of Indigenous literary work in Canada up to 1992, will also discuss Brady as a writer, along with Cree and Métis storytelling traditions and the responsibility of storytellers and story recipients.



In June 1967, Métis leader Jim Brady and Cree councilor Abbie Halkett went on a prospecting trip in northern Saskatchewan by Lower Foster Lake. They vanished without a trace. With many people suspecting murder, the mystery of Brady’s and Halkett’s disappearance continues to concern northern Saskatchewan’s Indigenous community 52 years later.

Three years ago, Reder was asked by her uncle to help locate the missing leaders. Reder joined the search team with La Ronge Emergency Medical Services founder Eric Bell and anti-corruption and mining expert Michael Nest. Together, the team traced prospecting archives, interviewed community members and generated significant leads.

As an expert in Indigenous literature and autobiography, Reder’s research also led her to the Glenbow Archives where she learned of Brady’s extensive library, which included his unpublished literary work. This work has been a significant addition to The People and the Text project—an Indigenous literature archive project co-founded by Reder.



  • Wednesday, January 15
  • 6:00 p.m. to 7:30 p.m.



  • Room 1200, Segal Graduate School of Business, SFU’s Vancouver campus
  • 500 Granville Street, Vancouver



The President's Faculty Lecture Series, free and open to all, is a public program showcasing outstanding SFU faculty and their research and strengthening relationships between the university and the many communities SFU serves.

Reder is available for interviews prior to and following the lecture. The lecture is free to attend with registration.



As Canada’s engaged university, SFU works with communities, organizations and partners to create, share and embrace knowledge that improves life and generates real change. We deliver a world-class education with lifelong value that shapes change-makers, visionaries and problem-solvers. We connect research and innovation to entrepreneurship and industry to deliver sustainable, relevant solutions to today’s problems. With campuses in British Columbia’s three largest cities – Vancouver, Burnaby and Surrey – SFU has eight faculties, delivers almost 150 programs to over 35,000 students, and boasts more than 155,000 alumni in 143 countries.

Simon Fraser University: Engaging Students. Engaging Research. Engaging Communities.