Family and friends are growing increasingly worried after the disappearance of a community leader known for her advocacy on behalf of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls.
Saskatoon police and RCMP, volunteers and underwater and surface-water search teams are all scouring for Dawn Walker, four days after she and her seven-year-old son, Vincent Jansen, disappeared. Walker was last seen on Friday at a business in Saskatoon.
Her family says her disappearance is extremely out of character.
Police found her red Ford F-150 truck and some of her belongings Monday morning at Chief Whitecap Park, south of Saskatoon. A person found her purse in the area on Saturday.
Walker, 48, is originally from Okanese First Nation but has lived in Saskatoon for a number of years. She is CEO of the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations, a group representing 74 Saskatchewan First Nations.
At a Tuesday news conference, her sister, Patricia Dorian, pleaded for the public’s help.
“I just want to say this is so unlike Dawn, to just leave and go. We have a lot of family and friends here that are concerned … if anyone’s seen anything at all, please call and let us know, let the RCMP know,” Dorian said through tears.
Heather Bear, Fourth Vice Chief with FSIN, said the organization is devastated by Walker’s disappearance and said she has been “instrumental” in raising awareness about the issue of missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls, men and boys.