Sunday, February 14, 2010
Walking with Women.
Tonight I went for a walk. It was a cold walk in downtown Winnipeg, Manitoba, Canada.
It is a sad event for many people. For some others it is a something to take part in. In Canada there are about 520 Aboriginal women that have been murdered or gone missing in the last 30 years. Our Reserve is home to some of those missing and murdered girls. Someone's mom, sister, daughter.
I walked in the crowd and was in my own world when to my right was Pungese (means little bit in Ojibway). Her name is Dorothy and we were in the same school as kids; the residential school in Sagkeeng.
Her Sister Bernice is still waiting for her baby Jennifer to come home. Jennifer Catcheway went missing June 19, 2008. http://www.facebook.com/group.php?gid=28597730796
Pung and I walked in the cold and talked about people we remembered as kids. The smart ones, the tough ones. We joked and laughed as we walked in the memory walk. Life goes on. I teased her about chewing snuff when she was little girl. She denied chewing snuff. I never saw her chewing snuff, but accused her anyway. We talked about our kids, and Bernice's girl Jennifer. I didn't know Jennifer and it has been a lifetime since I had seen Bernice. They moved to the city when they were kids and I didn't see them. Heck I barely remembered Bernice, but I do remember her. As we talked we admitted that there is no way we could ever understand what it is like to have your baby disappear. The longing, the unknown, the hope for something, the hope for life.
The walk made me realize we need to listen, we need to walk, we need to remember all those girls that are missing. After all those missing girls, those ladies have families. Families like you and me.