Dawn Walker, an Indigenous woman who mysteriously went missing with her son from her Canadian hometown in late July, was "found in a rental unit in Oregon City" on Aug. 5, according to Saskatoon Police Service Deputy Chief Randy Huisman during an Aug. 8 news conference.
Walker was identified by the CBC Canadian news service as a prominent Indigenous author and high-ranking official with the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations who has been described as an advocate for other Indigenous women.
Huisman said that Walker is being charged with crimes in both Canada and the U.S., for allegedly providing false paperwork to illegally enter the U.S. as part of an "abduction" of her son Vincent, who was retrieved from Oregon by "his legal guardian" and returned to Canada on Aug. 7. Huisman said authorities are still investigating whether Walker was planning to stay in Oregon, or whether she received help from others in illegally crossing the border.
A 48-year-old member of the Okanese First Nation, Walker was first reported missing to police on July 24 after her friends and family hadn't heard from her. She had been last seen on July 22 at a business in Saskatoon, the CBC reported.
On July 25, police found her truck and other personal belongings at Chief Whitecap Park, just south of Saskatoon near the South Saskatchewan River. Police learned someone in the area had found Walker's purse a couple of days earlier.
Emergency crews, community organizations and volunteers spent days searching around the South Saskatchewan River for Walker and her child with no results. Police said they called off the river search as soon as they received evidence that Walker had entered the U.S.
Huisman thanked both the Oregon City and West Linn police departments for their service in helping to locate Walker and her son. OCPD Capt. Shaun Davis said that Oregon City police learned on Aug. 5 that Walker may have been in town, so OCPD patrol officers began looking for her vehicle and were soon successful.
An online fundraising campaign organized by Idle No More has raised tens of thousands of dollars so far to support Walker's legal defense.
You count on us to stay informed and we depend on you to fund our efforts. Quality local journalism takes time and money. Please support us to protect the future of community journalism.