Human Trafficking is a threat that occurs around the world, says a Saskatchewan charitable foundation that hosted a forum on the devastating subject.
Sarah Harper, a social worker from Onion Lake First Nation, not only attended the Hope Restored Canada summit for work, but brought her daughter.
Wahlea Harper learned that human trafficking can happen to anyone, including Indigenous women.
“I learned about the stigma wrapped around human trafficking,” she said, “and I learned that you got to bring more awareness to it because its scary – especially with the missing and murdered Indigenous women in Canada.
“It’s a horrible thing to be Indigenous and not fear that, you know what I mean?”
Sarah agrees, and says it was important she and her daughter participated and shared their views on the reality of being an Indigenous woman in Canada.
“They need to know from us Aboriginal people this is our story, and we need to help them so they can help us help our ladies and our women,” she said.
Tara Wilkie, a forensic nurse with the Fraser Health Region in B.C., says it’s mandatory for all health care providers to take the online course to educate themselves about the signs of human trafficking.
“It is one hour for anyone to take; it is free and it is open globally.”
Tony Ulriksen attended the two- day event to educate himself. His relative, Happy Charles, has been missing for two years.
“A lot of people don’t want to talk about it. They want to say, ‘Oh well, they were living a risky lifestyle and of course something bad is going to happen,’ he says.
“But at the end of the day, it’s still somebody’s daughter, somebody’s sister, somebody’s mother, girlfriend, wife, whatever.”