Selina Wallace was one of 10 children born to a family from the We Wai Kai First Nation, located in Quadra Island’s Cape Mudge, across from the Campbell River in British Columbia.
Growing up, she was known to be very family-oriented, spending the summers picking berries with her mother and fishing with her father. However, things changed when she and a number of her siblings were sent to St. Michael’s, a residential school located in Alert Bay. While at the institution, they suffered severe sexual, mental and physical abuse.
In March 1957, her brother was murdered.
On February 7, 1971, Selina was spending time with friends and family. That evening, she walked to a pier near the family home with a male friend. This was the last time anyone saw her.
When Selina didn’t return home by February 8, her family and local community members began searching the area, including the surrounding beach. They were worried, as the strong tidal currents meant a person could drift a great distance if they happened to fall into the water.
Selina’s sister, Betsy, and her partner tried to report her missing, but were told by the local authorities that she was old enough to leave home without informing anyone.
In either March or April 1971, her sister, Verna, received a letter from another sibling, informing her of Selina’s disappearance. As she was living in Quebec City at the time, she approached the provincial government for assistance getting home. They initially refused to help, and it took two months for her to return to British Columbia.
Eventually, the search for Selina was called off, as her family wasn’t receiving support from the Band Council, Band Chief or police.
Her family tried to get Selina legally declared dead, but were told they’d have to go to the Supreme Court to do so. As they were unsure how to go about the process, they didn’t move forward with the plan.
Foul play isn’t suspected in Selina’s case, as authorities believe she likely fell into the water and drowned. Verna has stated she believes the Royal Canadian Mounted Police should be held accountable for not properly helping the family when her sister first went missing.
In February 2020, Selina’s great niece, Avis O’Brien, spoke about her during the sixth annual Comox Valley Women’s Memorial March at Courtenay’s Simms Park.
CASE CONTACT INFORMATION:
Selina Violet Wallace went missing from the pier in Cape Mudge, Quadra Island, British Columbia on February 7, 1971. She was 19 years old, and what she was last seen wearing is currently unknown. At the time of her disappearance, she stood at 5’8″ and weighed 125 pounds. She has straight black hair and brown eyes. Along with a tattoo on her torso/upper back, she also has scars on her hips and a circular scar on the outside of her right hand, under her thumb.
Currently, the case is classified as a missing persons investigation. If alive, she would be 70 years old.
Those with information regarding the case are asked to contact the Quadra Island detachment of the RCMP at 250-285-3631.
Image Credit: CBC