Prince Albert residents set to walk for missing persons

By Michael Joel-Hansen
January 26, 2019 - 2:00pm

Some Prince Albert residents will be walking this weekend to raise awareness about an important issue.

Sunday morning, walkers will be gathering at the Prince Albert Inn before walking over to the Mann Art Galler as part of annual event honouring those who have gone missing in the community.

The walk is being organized by Conrad Burns and Pernell Ballantyne. Speaking to paNOW, Burns said the walk is a good method to use when trying to bring an important issue to light, as it is not intrusive.

“But, it’s still putting yourself out there, you’re still standing for a cause and you’re still making awareness,” he said.

Sunday's will be the third of its kind in Prince Albert. The first walk was held in 2015 when Ballantyne walked from Saskatoon to Prince Albert to raise awareness and support those with missing family members. Ballantyne’s sister, Monica Lee Burns went missing that same year.

In 2018, there was a walk from Saskatoon to Prince Albert to bring awareness about the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls inquiry not going to northern Saskatchewan. The hope of organizers was to get the inquiry to go to the north to engage with families in that region.

This year’s walk is much shorter than previous years and will include a gathering at the Mann Art Gallery where people are invited to share their own experiences.

“It’s really about a community coming together to support each other, and encourage that continuous growth within a person, because of the ambiguous loss the family is dealing with,” said Burns.

The City of Prince Albert is supporting the walk by providing a police escort for the group. Burns said by making the escort available, the city is sending a message.

“Everything starts with our leadership and if leadership’s not standing behind us, it’s hard to get anything going, so it’s a major relief for us to have that security and backing us in this issue,” he said.

Burns explained since they have been doing the walks they have been able to get national media attention, and good social media coverage, which has helped bring awareness to the issue.

For people looking to take part in the walk, Burns recommends coming prepared for the winter weather. He added that people who are not able to take part in the walk should feel free to come to the Mann Art Gallery afterward.

“We want to hear your stories, we want to share stories, we want to give support,” he said.

 

MichaelJoel.Hansen@jpbg.ca

On Twitter: @mjhskcdn

  

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