Saskatchewan

Women walk from Winnipeg to Regina to spread awareness about MMIW

Three indigenous women are walking from Winnipeg to Regina to inspire First Nations people to rise up against violence and hate.

3 women have been walking 550 kilometres

Star Andreas (left) and Kim Kostiuk-Laporte are part of a group of three women walking from Winnipeg to Regina to raise awareness for missing and murdered Indigenous women. (CBC News )

Three women who are walking from Winnipeg to Regina to raise awareness about missing and murdered indigenous people.

Through their walk called the "Women Warrior Walk," they also hope to let Indigenous people know that help is available to them if they need it.

"The violence needs to stop," Star Andreas said. "We need to educate people. We need to start loving each other again."

Andreas, Kim Kostiuk-Laporte and another woman left Winnipeg on Monday. By noon on Thursday, they were leaving Indian Head, Sask.  

The women have been walking on the Trans-Canada Highway carrying Canadian flags with the words Indigenous Women written on them. A van, covered in posters of missing and murdered indigenous women, has been driving behind them.

Kostiuk-Laporte and Andreas work for safety patrols. Kostiuk-Laporte works for Bear Clan in Winnipeg and Andreas works for White Pony Lodge in Regina.

Women say an inquiry isn't the answer

On Wednesday, the federal government announced the terms for an inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls. It said the inquiry will begin Sept. 1 and run until Dec. 31, 2018.

"The way we see it, it is nice what they are trying to do but that is 2018," Kostiuk-Laporte said. "But that isn't going to help our people. We need help now."

In 2014, the RCMP found close to 1,200 documented cases of murdered and missing Indigenous girls and women between 1980 and 2012.

Kostiuk-Laporte said Indigenous people who have lost their family members need closure. She said that is where her patrol comes in.

"We want to go out there and try and support them and try to help them," she said.

The federal government has estimated that the inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women will cost $53.8 million.

Andreas said it is a waste of money.

"They should use that money for the children," she said.

The women's journey is supported by the the Indian and Metis Friendship Center in Winnipeg.

now