Presbyterian Record

July/August 2013

a magazine for members of the Presbyterian Church in Canada

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Community NEWS A Mother's Anguish PHOTOGRAPHY: MISSING WOMEN ARE GONE BUT NOT FORGOTTEN. AS A MOTHER, the faded picture of a missing aboriginal woman bothered me. Each day as I walked to work, the picture of 20-year-old Amber Rose Marie Guiboche was there, fading more and more each day. I couldn't help but think of her mother and her family who might have been the ones to tape the picture to the post. It was not only the torn and faded picture that bothered me, but the mother's anguished loss of her daughter that was most certainly behind it. The not knowing of what happened to her daughter, who disappeared in 2010. My thoughts were of her mother. Thinking of the pain she must be experiencing of not knowing what happened or where her daughter was. The only desire left was to bring her daughter home. I recently lost a child, but I lost him to a sudden illness and had closure. My emotional wounds have been mending and I have had the privilege of being able to work through my grief. There was the support of friends and family as I dealt with my loss. The funeral service and the burial were all part of the grieving process. A final good-bye to the child I lost all too soon. I have empathy for this mother, whom I have never met, whose grief must still be there. A mother who is seeking closure after her loss. There are a reported 582 missing and murdered aboriginal women in Canada according to the Native Women's Association. That is a lot of mothers seeking closure for their children—children who have gone missing or were murdered. It is the mothers who often spearhead a march or a public awareness campaign to keep their daughters' names in the news. Sadly, the public campaigns generate little media attention and after a few days, BY VIVIAN KETCHUM A march for missing women happened on Logan Ave. in Winnipeg last May. The area has a high aboriginal population, and is where many women go missing. About 200 people took part in the march, hoping to raise awareness for the hundreds of unsolved missing persons cases in the area. people move on to the next story. I thought of how strong this mother must be to rise above the pain and loss to try to bring awareness of her missing daughter to the public. Not only through posters, but by having public marches together with other families who have missing or murdered daughters. She would have to continually expose her grief to strangers in hopes that someone out there knows what happened to her daughter. A mother doing what she can to bring closure to a painful part of her life. I was shocked when reading a story from Winnipeg of how, allegedly, a suspect told the police he buried a native woman in the local landfill. There was a brief outcry—not over where she is allegedly buried, but about the cost of trying to locate the woman's body. There was an attempt made by the police to try to locate the woman's remains, but sadly it was in vain and they gave up. Why is this mother's story not being heard? Maybe the question should be, why are her tears being ignored by the public, the government and the police? Why is there not more being done to help these mothers, families and possibly the young children the missing women may have left behind? I can help one mother by sharing her story and keeping her daughter's story and other women out there in the public view. Vivian Ketchum is a mother of three. She lives and works in Winnipeg, where she attends the Winnipeg Inner City Missions church. ■ July/August 2013 Presbyterian Record 11

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