Canadian author Dawn Walker, also known as Dawn Dumont, has pleaded guilty to charges related to faking her own death and kidnapping her son. Walker, an indigenous woman from Saskatchewan, disappeared in the summer of 2022, prompting a high-profile search. She was later found safe in Oregon with her child after a two-week search. Walker, 49, has claimed that she fled due to domestic violence. However, she was charged with nine offenses, including parental abduction, identity fraud, and forging a passport.
In a Saskatoon court, Walker entered a guilty plea to three charges: parental abduction in contravention of a custody order, possession of a forged document, and forging a passport. Both her defense lawyers and prosecutors have requested a 12-month conditional sentence, followed by an 18-month probation. The final sentence will be determined by Judge Brad Mitchell.
Walker’s case has garnered significant attention and support from other writers and indigenous advocates, who argue that it highlights systemic failures within the Canadian legal system. She had enlisted the services of prominent lawyer Marie Henein to defend her. Walker’s sentencing is pending, and her trial, originally scheduled to begin on November 20, has been canceled due to her guilty plea.
Dawn Walker is a celebrated author and indigenous advocate in Canada, with a career spanning over a decade. Her latest novel, “The Prairie Chicken Dance Tour,” was shortlisted for a prestigious literary prize. Walker holds a law degree from Queen’s University and previously ran as a federal member of parliament for the Liberal Party.
Walker’s case has shed light on the challenges faced by indigenous women within the criminal justice system. She has spoken out about the mistreatment of indigenous women in institutions and the need for national and international attention to address racism and the ongoing effects of colonialism.
Indigenous women in Canada are incarcerated at a rate 15 times higher than non-Indigenous women, according to Statistics Canada. Walker’s case has sparked discussions about the need for systemic change and support for marginalized communities within the legal system.