Krista Fox passes Moosomin in her walk across Canada for MMIW
May 10, 2022, 4:06 pm
Sierra D'Souza Butts, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
In her 7,426 kilometre walk across Canada for bringing awareness of the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women (MMIW), Krista Fox passed through Moosomin on April 28.
“The most important thing throughout this whole journey is connecting families all across Canada,” she said.
“I said this over and over again, we do best when we’re all together, that’s the best support team. We just know how everyone’s feeling, and it just seems easier for everyone to talk to, share and be around because they just get it. Whether it’s the pain, whether it’s the confusion, or those phone calls and emails you get from major crimes, we can talk about those things amongst us and everyone there.”
Connecting the families of the missing and murdered Indigenous women is important because they need to know they are not alone, she said.
“That is the most important part of this journey is connecting and sharing their stories. We’ve been blessed by many families, for them to share their missing and murdered loved ones, not even their stories, but their truths because it’s not a made up story, this is what we live with everyday and that’s what these families are living through.”
Fox carries the names of the missing girls and women throughout her journey, to constantly remind herself who she is walking for.
“This walk is just as important as getting these calls to action, my heart goes out to those families that took part in recommendations and calls to action,” she said.
“My heart just hurts for them because I can only imagine in that moment, when they said okay let’s do this, let’s come up with what we can to be able to move forward and stop this genocide against our people.
“Finally, all the families got together and they went to Ottawa thinking that someone was going to listen, that someone cares. They sat down, gave their blood, sweat, and tears to this group of people that they thought were going to help them and make change, and here we are, two years later.”
Fox started walking on Feb. 18 in Victoria, B.C., with the plan of reaching the Beothuk territory, in what has been known as St. John’s, Newfoundland, by December.
Four years ago Fox originally joined her family friend, Diane Morin, in a walk from Saskatoon to North Battleford in hope of finding Morin’s missing daughter Ashley.
Ever since, Fox has been walking every year in hope of finding Ashley.
Aside from nights for rest and stops for food, Fox has been walking for the majority of the journey, along with Lindsey Bishop.
“I know for a fact I wouldn’t be able to do it physically without Lindsey, first and foremost because her and I do the walking,” Fox said tearfully.
“That’s the physical part, when it comes to the emotional part, I need her to know how much I love her and her family, and how my heart hurts for them.”
Bishop’s sister Megan Gallagher, was last seen in Saskatoon in September 2020. She explained what this walk means to her.
“It’s important to bring families together like Krista said, to have those stories be told,” Bishop said.
“My dad is always saying the silence is killing us, and I mean someone out there knows what happened to Ashley, they know what happened to Meghan, they know what happened to all of the families who are just hurting right now.
“They could take that pain away so easily and to me, it’s just baffling why you would let that many people be in that much pain.
“This journey is for me to heal, but to also trying to help other families heal, even if it’s in the smallest way. For someone who hasn’t told their story, tells their story of their mother, their sister, brother, aunt, uncle, their best friend. I just think it’s very important to just keep making noise.”
Fox’s team of four, Lindsey, Diane and Derek, have been by her side throughout her walk across Canada.
“When Derek joined us I was glad, I’m always pollarding around men telling them they need to start standing up for us,” Fox said.
“Not walking behind me, not walking in front of me but walking beside me, and Derek’s a prime example of that. It shows the love that he has for his wife because he could’ve sat at home and sat back continued doing what he was doing and supporting his wife from home, but him coming out to support us gives us such a sense of security, to know he’s here with us.
Tik Tok family helps support Krista’s walk for MMIW
Fox said her family on Tik Tok keeps her strong every day.
“I also have to give a shoutout to my Tik Tok family, I downloaded the app in September and I don’t even know why,” she said.
Fox started recording videos of her walk across Canada to her friends, family and viewers on the app. Right now she has just under 10,000 followers on Tik Tok and goes live on a daily basis.
“A lot of the times that’s who knows where we are, if you want to know who we are, get a hold of someone on Tik Tok,” she said.
“I have shared this whole journey with them, I made that promise because they blew me up. You needed a thousand people to go live and within two days I had a thousand followers.
“The beautiful thing that I really enjoy too, is when I jumped on live, I said we really need to share these stories, we need to talk about the missing and murdered Indigenous people. Now, it’s not uncomfortable to go into a room and talk about it. It’s all thanks to my Tik Tok family, they’ve changed my life and this walk for me.”
Reason behind the cause
Fox was inspired to start her own journey for bringing awareness of missing and murdered Indigenous women, after helping Diane with her walk.
“From 2019 until this year, the Morin and Burt family started a walk from Saskatoon to North Battleford for Ashley,” she said.
“I did a lot of the co-ordinating for that, made sure it happened, made sure we had what was needed and I really felt inspired by it. I really felt the whole family come together and being able to walk, over a three-day period along one another.”
Fox also carries a personal connection to the cause since losing a loved one.
“On December 9, 2020 my life changed completely when my 14 year-old grandson was murdered in Saskatoon, and I was not only an advocate anymore, as I became a part of the Missing and Murdered Indigenous people’s families,” she said.
“I remember sitting at home, it was a Saturday morning. I don’t know if I had a vision, I don’t know if I dreamt it, or if I was sitting there day dreaming about it but, I messaged my youngest son and said, son I’m going to walk across Canada.
“He asked me if I was crazy, because he knows I was more than a pack-a-day smoker. I hated finding the farthest parking spot from Walmart, I used to get mad when I couldn’t find a close spot because I didn’t want to walk that far.
“I’ve never really taken the best care of myself physically, but I thought you know what, I need to do this. This is something that needs to happen, and if I can make it happen by connecting families, because that’s what the original plan was. What I envisioned was a MMIW family in Victoria, to walk 50 kilometers, then they pass a stick, a talking stick, then they would pass it to the next family, and then that family would go 50 kilometers and come across Canada like that.
“Fortunately at the time, I didn’t know a lot of MMIW families outside of our Saskatoon and the Prince Albert area, I didn’t know how that plan was going to happen, so that’s why I made the decision to why I needed to do it.
“After letting my immediate family know that I was going to do this, the first person I reached out to was Diane, the mother of missing Ashley Morin, and I told her I was going to walk across Canada for missing and murdered Indigenous women, and the only thing she said to me was, when do we leave? I knew in that moment, that this was meant to be and it was going to happen.
“I didn’t know how yet because Diane doesn’t drive, she’s here for my support I don’t let her walk often, but I needed her here if I was going to be able to do this. Last year during Ashley’s walk, we were blessed to meet the Gallagher family. I kind of put a bug in Lindsey’s ear that we were going to do this, and things just fell into place and here we are.”
Moosomin resident proud to welcome Krista to town
Joy Hamilton-Flaman of Moosomin has been following Fox and Bishop’s walk across Canada for MMIW, since day one.
“I feel so proud, I’m so proud of these Indigenous women. It’s time for us to start speaking up about the atrocities that are happening across all of Canada,” Hamilton-Flaman said.
“I know Krista hates talking about the numbers because they’re not numbers they are people, they are women. They have names. It’s important for Krista to say those names, when she’s on live (on Tik Tok) she says them and people start typing out the names of their missing loved ones in the comments, and she’ll say them while she’s walking.
“It was especially powerful when she was walking the Highway of Tears in B.C., because so many women have gone missing and how does a women just disappear?
“To be wondering for how many years is it not fair, it’s not right, it’s against humanity and what is happening to our Indigenous women is against humanity. This country has been trying to get rid of Indigenous people for so many years that it’s not getting the recognition that it needs, and these women, Krista, Lindsey, are making it happen.”
“Each town and each step they take, the 20,000 steps that they take a day is going to get there and it’s going to make a change and they’re doing it, two feet and a heartbeat. I knew they were following Highway 1 so I was prepared, I want to do anything I can to help in anyway. Both of you have amazing hearts, and your heart has been shattered and you’ve built yourself back up to be able to do this for other people, not just yourself, but doing it for other people. It’s selfless, it’s beautiful.