It just takes one person to start a movement. It just takes one person to be called to action. From that one step, can come hundreds more.
It is easy to look around and ask, “Why is no one doing anything about this?” No matter what that question is directed towards, if someone makes the decision to do something, things can begin to change.
At the beginning of April, Wendy Watchmaker was moved to action. Her anger and pain had nowhere left to go. She was left heartbroken each and every time she saw a poster of a missing Indigenous child, women or man. She was filled with rage each time a headline told a story of an Indigenous person that had been murdered.
How much sorrow can one heart take? How much despair can one community handle? So, the mother of six made the decision to transform that pain into action – she decided to walk over 300 km along busy highways and roads to share her message – “No more stolen sisters.”
When Wendy was preparing to start her journey from Hotel Dene on April 21, she told me it didn’t matter if no one joined her in the walk. She had to do it and there would be no turning back.
I have continued to follow Wendy’s journey on social media, and it has been incredible to see her perseverance and the support from the Lakeland community and beyond.
There have been days of pouring rain, of windstorms, of blistering sunshine – and still she walks.
The actions of one person have rippled, and along the way many have joined her to show support for her mission to raise awareness for Murdered and Missing Indigenous People (MMIP) in Canada.
But again, in the midst of this walk, a young girl was reported missing from Edmonton, and recently found deceased, according to police. The heartbreak continues.
No one should ever have to know the pain of losing a loved one to violence. And while many of us never will, we must recognize that Indigenous people are disproportionately victimized by violence. Those left behind are the ones who carry the wounds of trauma and grief.