Two young Indigenous women are about to embark on a month-long walk from Saskatoon to Winnipeg to highlight what they say are recent injustices towards Indigenous people.
Katryna Smith and Kayla Ironstar-Murray say they were inspired by the recent acquittals of the accused in the killings of Colten Boushie and Tina Fontaine.
Ironstar-Murray says the acquittals show the misrepresentation of Indigenous peoples in the justice system.
“We were inspired by Colten Boushie and Tina Fontaine,” Ironstar-Murray said. “When Gerald Stanley was acquitted, it started a whole roll of emotions within us as Indigenous women. When Tina Fontaine’s case came to life, we just had enough of the misrepresentation of youth in our justice system. They were victims of abuse. It started a big turmoil of emotions, as students, young women wanting to get education degrees, but also wanting to make change in our society.”
The walk called “Freedom from Injustice” will start in Saskatoon May 7, ending in Winnipeg a month later. The cause is picking up momentum, gaining support from local politicians and police chiefs.
Smith says the outpouring of support is encouraging them that the walk is the right thing to do.
“This gives us that sense that yes, we are going in the right direction and we are doing what the Creator has asked us to do in light of this walk,” Smith said. “We are so thankful and grateful at the moment for the support we have, not just from our own community, but coming from the mayors, the chiefs of police, the MLA’s.”
The walk is currently being funded through their own funds and hopefully with donations, as the organizers hope to donate remaining proceeds to the Boushie and Fontaine families.
Rallies will be planned at various communities.
“We came up with a walk, which would show our determination, our commitment on our end of why and we are hoping to see a change in the system,” said Ironstar-Murray.