APTN News Sunday
It’s been 17 years since Lisa Bigjohn lost her sister – and she’s getting to tell her story — again, this time to the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls.
She’s spent that time coping with the loss and raising awareness about missing and murdered Indigenous women.
It’s been a tough slog.
“It’s just very hard some days,” Bigjohn said of the daily fight to stay strong.
“I try not to think about it – how she was murdered and how she must have been begging for her life.”
Her sister Mona Lee Wilson was murdered by serial killer Robert Pickton of B.C. In fact, Wilson was his last victim before he was captured and convicted of killing six women, although he was suspected of the murders of more than 20.
To keep the memory of her sister alive, Bigjohn testified in 2013 at a Special Committee on Violence Against Indigenous Women in Canada in Vancouver.
She says it wasn’t a good experience.
“I was one of the families that was pushed aside,” she said. “Nothing came of it.”
The final report of that committee, struck by the Harper government, was criticized as being inadequate and ignoring the recommendations from victims – including calls for a national inquiry.
It left a bad taste in the mouths of many families who went to Ottawa to testify – including Bigjohn’s.
Now, she’s putting that disappointment aside and preparing to testify again – this time before the national inquiry when it starts in Edmonton the week of Nov. 6.
“I’m going to do what I have to do because I’m sick and tired of being ignored.”
Bigjohn’s daughter, Susan Robinson, will be at her side – just like she was in 2013.
“I just want the next time for people to be treated equally,” Robinson said. “I would like my mom not to be judged, considering what my Auntie Mona went through.
“It put a lot on my mom, and I don’t want her to experience that again.”
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