The walk began at 11 a.m. at the Valemount Village office, heading east on 5th Ave through downtown, circling back via 7th Ave. / RACHEL FRASER

By Rachel Fraser

May 5th is Red Dress Day – the National Day of Awareness for Missing & Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls and 2SLGBTQI+ people (MMIWG2S).

In Valemount, an annual walk is held, and locals – most of whom walk for someone they’ve lost – gathered at the Village office to walk for their loved ones, or in solidarity.” 

The Village of Valemount sign decorated with placards, a drum, and a red dress in preparation for the walk. / SUBMITTED BY SHERRY TINSLEY
Sherry Tinsley stops traffic as the walk crosses the highway. /RACHEL FRASER

“Chances are, if you know an Indigenous person, they’re related to someone who has gone missing or been murdered. That’s how common this is,” said organizer Sherry Tinsley, addressing the small crowd.

While they walk for awareness, they also walk for justice. Tinsley said, “There is a history of these crimes not being investigated as thoroughly “¦ people have targeted us knowing they can get away with it.”

Latisha Marsden. /RACHEL FRASER

Latisha Marsden says she joins the walk every year that she’s in town for all that have gone missing around here and down the Highway of Tears.

“It’s important to stand up and raise your voice, and let other people know what’s actually happening here, and maybe one day, it’ll make a difference,” she said.