Hope for change spurs walkers honouring missing and murdered
Seven making way from Winnipeg to Prince Rupert given hot meal and support in Saskatoon
They were greeted in Saskatoon Monday evening with a hot meal, hugs and support.
Seven people walking from Winnipeg, Manitoba to Prince Rupert, B.C. in honour of all missing and murdered loved ones. Not just women — men and children too.
The potluck dinner was organized by Iskwewuk E-Wichiwitochik (Women Walking Together), a local group focussed on missing and murdered indigenous women.
The walkers they fed have personal connections to some of the highest profile, most gut-wrenching cases in the country.
Murdered cousin, missing daughter
Brenda Osborne is the cousin of Helen Betty Osborne, the teen murdered near The Pas, Manitoba whose death helped spark that province's Aboriginal Justice Inquiry.
And now, Brenda Osborne's own daughter, Claudette Osborne-Tyo, is missing.
"You know how I found out when my daughter was missing? Through the news. Nobody told me," Osborne said.
That was in 2008. The mother of four, herself just 21 years old when she disappeared, is still missing.
Brenda Osborne keeps searching for her, despite the obstacles she encounters.
Missing seven years, walking seven years
"We got no help. We try to do our own investigation, but they told us not to do it," she explained. "And I said 'why, because we're doing your job?'"
Osborne has been asking around on the street, trying to find out who Claudette knew, who she got involved with.
She has also been taking part in the annual cross-country walks for the past seven years, ever since her daughter's disappearance.
Myrna Abraham only knows what happened to her sister, Sharon Abraham, from the DNA found on Robert Pickton's pig farm in Port Coquitlam, B.C.
It's every day. That's why we keep pushing ourselves to go.- Brenda Osborne, mother of missing woman
From the Sagkeeng First Nation near Lake Winnipeg, she too has joined the trek to Prince Rupert. Seven days in, her feet are blistered, her hips sore.
"I'm walking because of love, honour and respect," Abraham said. "I believe in Canada, I believe that there'll be change. And I trust that there'll be change."
Meanwhile, the reports of still more missing and murdered women continue. It's what spurs Brenda Osborne on.
"Abduction, or even getting raped and stuff. It's every day. That's why we keep pushing ourselves to go."