Judge gives Dawn Walker conditional sentence for abduction, forgery

Dawn Walker

A Saskatoon woman accused of faking her death and that of her child before they crossed the border into the United States has been given a one-year conditional sentence.

Dawn Walker, a former executive with the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations, must also serve 18 months of probation.

Provincial court Judge Brad Mitchell accepted a joint recommendation for the sentence from Crown and defence lawyers after Walker pleaded guilty to three charges.

She admitted to forgery offences, as well as abduction in contravention of a custody or parenting order.

Walker and her child were reported missing in July 2022, after her pickup truck was found near a river at a park south of Saskatoon.

Some people feared the pair drowned, and a vigil and searches were organized before Walker and her child were found by U.S. authorities in Oregon two weeks later.

Walker also faces two charges in the U.S. related to identity fraud for allegedly crossing the border with fake identification.

After she was returned to Canada, Walker’s lawyers and relatives alleged she was a victim of domestic violence. However, the child’s father said he would never hurt her or the child.

Walker is an acclaimed author. She told the court Thursday that she was hurt knowing she may have caused pain to an Indigenous community that has already suffered.

“I apologize to my friends and family for the pain and suffering that I have caused them,” she said.

She said it was her “sacred duty” to protect her child’s innocence. However, she said she’s not proud of how she carried out that duty, calling it a lapse of judgment.

“I am truly sorry for my actions.”

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