Manitoba community to honour life of Helen Betty Osborne 50 years since her murder

WINNIPEG –

The community in The Pas, Man. is marking the 50th anniversary of the murder of Helen Betty Osborne with events to honour her life.

On Saturday, a local committee in The Pas is organizing several events throughout the day.

“I believe it is important to remember my auntie, Helen Betty Osborne; to honour her life, to reflect upon the terrible injustices that surrounded her death, and to continue moving forward with the legacy that she left behind,” Kimberly Osborne, a spokesperson for the family, said in a news release.

“There is still work to be done to ensure the safety for all Indigenous women, girls and men. By honouring her life, we continue to work for change and to have our voices heard.”

Helen Betty Osborne was 19 years old when she was abducted and murdered on Nov. 13, 1971.

It was 16 years before one man, Dwayne Archie Johnston, was convicted of her murder.

Renee Kastrukoff, who works with The Pas Family Resource Centre and is organizing Saturday’s events, said there are currently four unsolved missing and murdered cases in the community.

“We have seen the devastating impact of unsolved cases in our community, including Betty’s murder. Families and communities must be supported, and justice must act quickly for the wellbeing of families and communities,” Norway House Cree Nation Councillor Darlene Osborne said in a release.

The events on Saturday will include a sunrise ceremony, and a fire will be burning throughout the day at The Pas Family Resource Centre cultural site. Community members are invited to sit at the fire.

Trauma support will be available from the Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak MMIWG Liaison Unit throughout the day. 

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