Women depart Victoria for nationwide walk to honour missing, murdered Indigenous women

Lindsey Bishop started her walk with a sage smudge, performed by Nicole Mandryk in Victoria Feb. 18. (Christine van Reeuwyk/News Staff)Lindsey Bishop started her walk with a sage smudge, performed by Nicole Mandryk in Victoria Feb. 18. (Christine van Reeuwyk/News Staff)
‘I didn’t ever want to be part of the murdered and missing family, but I find myself there,’ says Lindsey Bishop. (Christine van Reeuwyk/News Staff)‘I didn’t ever want to be part of the murdered and missing family, but I find myself there,’ says Lindsey Bishop. (Christine van Reeuwyk/News Staff)
Krista Fox, right, Lindsey Bishop and a large group of supporters gather for a group photo before walking to the legislature in Victoria. (Christine van Reeuwyk/News Staff)Krista Fox, right, Lindsey Bishop and a large group of supporters gather for a group photo before walking to the legislature in Victoria. (Christine van Reeuwyk/News Staff)
Krista Fox, right, Lindsey Bishop and a large group of supporters gather for a group photo before walking to the legislature in Victoria. (Christine van Reeuwyk/News Staff)Krista Fox, right, Lindsey Bishop and a large group of supporters gather for a group photo before walking to the legislature in Victoria. (Christine van Reeuwyk/News Staff)
Tsawout Elder Kathy Horne-LaFortune, right, her husband WSANEC artist Doug LaFortune and Krista Fox during the Feb. 18 event at Mile Zero. Horne-LaFortune shared words of wisdom with Krista Fox (Christine van Reeuwyk/News Staff)Tsawout Elder Kathy Horne-LaFortune, right, her husband WSANEC artist Doug LaFortune and Krista Fox during the Feb. 18 event at Mile Zero. Horne-LaFortune shared words of wisdom with Krista Fox (Christine van Reeuwyk/News Staff)
Tsawout Elder Kathy Horne-LaFortune shares words of wisdom and thanks with Krista Fox (Christine van Reeuwyk/News Staff)Tsawout Elder Kathy Horne-LaFortune shares words of wisdom and thanks with Krista Fox (Christine van Reeuwyk/News Staff)

With the scent of sage drifting across the gentle breeze, Krista Fox read name after name after name of individuals and their families she will think of often as she walks across the country. They’re the names of missing and murdered people, shared with Fox by those who loved them – still love them.

The Saskatchewan woman embarked on a trek across the nation on Feb. 18 to raise awareness for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG). Standing at Mile Zero in Miqen (Beacon Hill Park), Fox started with: “Today and always I will honour you.”

The first name was Ashley Morin, 31, who went missing from North Battleford, Sask. in July 2018. Each year since, Fox has walked the 100 kilometres from North Battleford to Saskatoon in honour of the close family friend.

Last year, she met Lindsey Bishop there.

READ ALSO: Keeping the hope fire burning: B.C. First Nation honours missing and murdered women

Bishop connected with the Morin family after her own sister went missing. Megan Gallagher, 30, was last seen in Saskatoon in September 2020.

“I didn’t ever want to be part of the murdered and missing family, but I find myself there,” Bishop said, under nearly clear Victoria skies Friday morning.

As Megan’s older sister she’s found kinship with Ashley’s older sister.

“It’s helpful, it’s healing,” Bishop said. She’d like to help others foster relationships of understanding.

The Saskatoon woman hopes to make noise until there are answers, even if it’s not for her family. Her goal is to raise the issue, a major one people don’t talk enough about. They don’t talk about how the problems date back to residential schools and attempted erasure of culture.

Because of that silence, families find themselves surrounded by people who don’t understand – but want to, Bishop said.

READ ALSO: Tsawout residential school survivor no longer afraid to share her story

Fox initially planned to walk across the nation solo, but felt compelled to invite Bishop. So the pair found themselves at the start of the Trans-Canada Highway where Lekwungen drummers and myriad community members welcomed them and their team – laying a solid foundation for the walk to start. As is tradition, gifts were exchanged, and words of wisdom shared.

Fox, Bishop and a large group of supporters walked to the legislature before heading up Island. Supporters can help fund the walk at gofundme.com/f/vr84yd-kristas-kilometres-for-mmiw which aims to raise $100,000. TikTok users can watch for live updates at her handle @kristafox68 or find Krista’s Kilometres on Facebook for updates.

Fox stumbled only once reading her names of remembrance.

Earlier she explained Feb. 18 is also the day she marked 54 years on the planet, and it should have been a sweet 16 for her “birthday present” grandson.

Instead, his name was on her list – Michael Roy, 14, 2020.

c.vanreeuwyk@blackpress.ca


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