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Annual Valentine's Day Walk honours MMIP

The walk was held a day early, on Feb. 13, to align with the 32-year anniversary of the death of Sandra Johnson.

THUNDER BAY – Tuesday was a sombre day for a few dozen residents who participated in an annual walk to remember those who have been lost or taken.

The 17th annual Valentine’s Day memorial walk was held on Feb. 13 to honour the lives of Missing and Murdered Indigenous People.

This year's Valentine's Day walk looked a little different compared to previous years. Instead of gathering at city hall, participants met at the base of the East End bridge on Pacific Avenue, and proceeded to walk towards the Neebing McIntyre Floodway.

The walk was held a day early to align with the 32-year anniversary of the death of Sandra Johnson, who's sister Sharon Johnson started the Valentine’s Day walk 17 years ago.

"Sandra was found at this location frozen in the Neebing McIntyre Floodway,” said Sharlene Bourdeau, co-organizer of the walk.

“That murder still has not been solved. But we're doing this to help the family and to help the community and friends, because she was everyone's sister."

Kim Ducharme, co-organizer, said it's really important for the community to step up.

"I can see why putting something together like this might be a little overwhelming for some of the families,” she said. “It's hard to grieve and coordinate activities at the same time - that's why I think it's important for the community.”

The walk ended with a ceremony at the floodway to honour Sandra Johnson and all missing and murdered Indigenous people.

Justin Hardy

About the Author: Justin Hardy

Justin Hardy is a reporter born and raised in the Northwest.
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