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Saskatoon woman accused of faking death teases new book

A Saskatoon woman accused of faking her own death and the death of her son, and fleeing to the U.S. says she's finished writing a new book as she awaits the outcome of her criminal charges.

Last summer, while search teams combed a river for signs of Dawn Walker and her seven-year-old son, Walker's book "The Prairie Chicken Dance Tour" was short-listed for a prestigious humour prize. 

Walker, who is out on bail, shared the news of her forthcoming book during a low-key, live-streamed event in February that was later uploaded to YouTube.

A similar event in support of Walker, organized by fellow writers who believe she had valid reasons for her alleged actions, is set to take place later this month. A link to the recording of the previous event was shared in an online invitation.

During the February live stream, Walker briefly alluded to her circumstances before launching into reading an excerpt from the book she says is titled "Love Stories for the End of the World."

Walker began by describing herself as a survivor of domestic violence.

 "I have found that there are three responses when people know that you're a victim … There are people who will just attack you because they recognize that vulnerability and they want to hurt you more. I don't know why," she said.

"There are others who look away and ignore your pain because they hope that it won't happen to them. And then there's a third group, they're the ones who rush to help you and don't stop helping," Walker said.

Walker hasn't spoken publicly since her arrest except through written statements.

A still image take from an online event held in February in support of Dawn Walker. (YouTube/Homes not Bombs)

After her brief opening remarks, Walker pivoted to reading a story from her new book, which she said was penned in December during "one of the darkest times" in her life.

"This is a pretty sad story that [has] got a little bit of hope in it and there's a character in here that has probably become my favourite character that I've ever written," she said.

"She's just a 10-year-old girl. Because sometimes in life, the bravest people are the little ones who have to stand up for themselves."

Walker ended her reading by saying "There's a lot more but I thought I would leave it at that."

When she finished, writer Matthew Behrens asked Walker when she expects to publish.

"Well, I'm not sure yet. I've gotten it to the agent and everything. So hopefully within the year," she answered.

Last summer, on July 24, Walker and her son were reported missing. Her truck and belongings were found the next morning at Chief Whitecap Park in Saskatoon.

Following the discovery, police and volunteers spent days searching the park and the adjacent South Saskatchewan River.

Walker and her son were located by U.S. authorities in Oregon on Aug. 5.

She faces Canadian charges including abduction, forging a passport, identity theft and public mischief as well as U.S. charges related to her border crossing. Walker was granted bail following her return to Canada.

She has pleaded not guilty to her Canadian charges.

Recently Walker's legal team requested a stay of proceedings and signalled their intention to mount a Charter challenge on her behalf.

The team, led by high-profile attorney Marie Henein, argues Walker experienced systemic discrimination in her attempts to report alleged assaults by a former partner and was mistreated once she was in custody.

During a news conference held shortly after her arrest in the U.S., Saskatoon Police Service Deputy Chief Randy Huisman said Walker's domestic violence allegations were "thoroughly investigated."

"No charges resulted as a result of those investigations," Huisman said.

Walker's son was returned to his biological father by U.S. authorities following her arrest.

Unless her legal team's application for a stay is successful, Walker's judge-alone criminal trial is scheduled for this fall.

The humour prize Walker was nominated for, the Stephen Leacock Memorial Medal, was eventually awarded to comedian Rick Mercer.

When announcing her nomination in the midst of her disappearance, the awards committee expressed concern for Walker.

When she went missing, Walker was a long-serving Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations executive. The FSIN has been supportive of Walker since her arrest.

Walker also unsuccessfully ran federally for the Liberals in 2021. Top Stories

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