Two women who have lost sisters to violence spoke out at a memorial march honouring murdered and missing Indigenous women in Thunder Bay on Thursday.

Sharon Johnson organizes the annual walk.


Homemade hearts show the love for missing sisters at Thunder Bay's memorial walk. (Jody Porter/CBC)

Her sister, Sandra Johnson, was murderd 21 years ago in Thunder Bay. The case remains unsolved.

"I think about that all the time," Johson said as she led the walkers carrying a staff fluttering with dozens of pink ribbons bearing the names of missing women with connections to northwestern Ontario.

"Someday there will be answers and my family won't hurt so much anymore," Johnson said.

She said easing the pain for families who have lost a mother, a daughter or a sister is her key motivation for holding the walk.

"It brings healing to the families," she said.


Mary Natawance spoke at a gathering at Thunder Bay city hall before the memorial walk. Three of her sisters have been killed. (Jody Porter/CBC)

Three of Mary Natawance's sisters were murdered. One, in a domestic assault in Thunder Bay, another in Vancouver and the third in Minneapolis.

"I miss the first one because we used to hang around together," Natawance said. "She was only 30 when she was murdered."

It's difficult to talk about, she said, but the walking helps.

"I feel good walking for all the women that's missing and murdered," she said.

The walk coincides with international events intended to raise awareness and bring an end to violence against women.