Dawn Walker, a famous Canadian author, has been sentenced for a wild plot that saw her kidnap her son and fake both his and her death.
Dawn Walker who was famously known as Dawn Dumont is a successful author with several books under her belt.
In 2021, the French translation of one of her books was nominated for the Governor General’s Award for English to French translation at the 2020 Governor General’s Awards.
A massive search was launched in the summer of 2022 when Dawn Walker and her 7-year-old son disappeared and it was believed they had been kidnapped.
However, she became the most hated woman weeks after she and her son were found safe and later it was unveiled she had planned her abduction.
The writer has pleaded guilty to kidnapping after she was accused of faking her and her son’s deaths.
Here’s everything we know about the renowned writer, her profession, her books, and what she did.
Who is Dawn Walker?
Dawn Walker is a successful Canadian Plains Cree writer, former lawyer, comedian, former CEO, and journalist from the Okanese First Nation in Saskatchewan, Canada.
She was born in 1978 and is currently 45 years old.
The Indigenous activist from Treaty 6 Territories is professionally called Dawn Dunmont.
Details about her parents and siblings are unknown.
She earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in English from the University of Saskatchewan in 1995. She holds a law degree from Queen’s University.
As of 2022, she has one child.
As an author, she has several books under her credit. Her first book titled Nobody Cries at Bingo, is a fictionalized, humorous account of her own life growing up on a reserve. Released in 2011, the book was shortlisted for an Alberta Readers’ Choice Award and a Robert Kroetsch City of Edmonton Award, and selected for the Canadian Children’s Book Centre’s Best Books for Kids and Teens.
Her second book is Rose’s Run (2014), which won the 2015 Saskatchewan Book Award for Fiction, and it tells the story of Rose Okanese, a single mother, who enters a marathon to boost her self-esteem Writing in Pacific Rim Review of Books, Chuck Barker described the novel as “integral Canadian literature” and praised Dumont’s “self-depreciating, honest, comprehensive, and confidential” sense of humour.
In 2017 she changed formats, publishing a collection of short stories titled Glass Beads. In more than twenty stories, Dumont explores the relationships between four First Nations characters over two decades. Shannon Webb-Campbell, reviewing the book in The Malahat Review, notes that “much like beadwork, each strand or story stands on its own, but can only be fully formed in relation to others.”
In 2022, her book, The Prairie Chicken Dance Tour, was shortlisted for the Stephen Leacock Memorial Medal for Humour.
Dumont teased a new book, Love Stories for the End of the World, during a livestream in February 2023. She finished writing the book while awaiting the outcome of her criminal charges.
In 2022, she became the subject of nationwide attention when she was the subject of multiple criminal investigations across the United States and Canada after kidnapping her seven-year-old son and faking their death and disappearance.
Walker became further mired in controversy as her heavy involvement in FSIN’s election fraud scandal came to light.
What did Dawn Walker do?
A massive search was launched in summer 2022 when Dawn Walker and her 7-year-old son disappeared.
The Canadian woman’s truck was found abandoned near a river, which led people to fear the mother and son had drowned.
Officers found a fishing rod and other belongings of Walker’s near her truck at Chief White Park in Saskatchewan on July 24, 2022.
They found no trace of Walker or her son, which led to a widespread search that cost the government more than $100,000.
Cops and volunteers descended on the area for a high-profile search. The community scoured ponds and fields and even held vigils for the pair.
Two weeks after she disappeared, cops tracked her bank transactions for gas, food, Netflix, and Airbnb rentals, and found them safe in Oregon City, 1,000 miles away.
Two weeks after she disappeared, the 49-year-old author was found safe with her son in Oregon.
Chilling reports by law enforcement reveal it was all a ruse by Walker.
Prosecutors said in court that she had taken steps to steal the identity of two Indigenous women working for her before she escaped.
She also applied for fraudulent documents and opened a bank account using a false name, the court heard.
She transferred $77,000 into the account and paid $10,000 in cash for a new vehicle in June 2022.
While Walker was missing, a 2021 novel she wrote, The Prairie Chicken Dance Tour, was shortlisted for a Canadian prize for literary humor.
Walker was arrested and hit with felony charges in the US before she was handed over to Canadian authorities.
What was Dawn Walker’s motive?
She told first responders that she had fled a domestic violence situation.
Walker called her decisions a brief lapse of judgment and said the love for her child caused her to act illogically.
“As an Indigenous parent it is my sacred duty, responsibility, to protect my [child]’s innocence,” Walker said, per CBC.
“I am truly sorry for my actions. I cannot change what I did, but I will learn from it, grow from it, and help others.”
The prosecutor Tyla Olenchuk said all allegations against her ex-partner were thoroughly investigated, and claimed that her child was never in danger.
“I think the takeaway here by her guilty plea is an acknowledgment by her that she did not have a legal defense to these claims or these allegations,” Olenchuk said.
“These matters were fully investigated by several different agencies and did not result in charges.”
A known advocate for Indigenous people, she, at first, blamed systems of oppression for leaving her “with no choice” but to run, she said in a statement at the time.
“No one heard me,” she said before apologizing to anyone who may have been hurt by her actions.
“I am fighting systems that continuously fail to protect me as an Indigenous woman and protect non-Indigenous men.”
According to Walker, the police had allegedly been notified many times of her dangerous living situation, but would not provide any help.
She said she left the country “due to her honest belief that her child faced grievous imminent harm.”
Saskatoon police said they launched a “thorough investigation” into her allegations but brought no charges against anyone.
When she was first charged, Walker garnered support from fellow writers and Indigenous people advocates.
Meanwhile, her ex-partner adamantly told the media that he was innocent of any crime.
Where is writer Dawn Walker now?
Following a multi-day search for Walker and the child in the Saskatoon area and beyond last summer, they were found by U.S. authorities in Oregon.
Walker was transported back to Saskatchewan.
The famed author was accused of faking her and her son’s deaths and authorities accused her of kidnapping.
Police hit Indigenous author Dawn Walker with nine charges and accused her of identity fraud, parental abduction, forgery, and passport falsification and cited domestic violence as a motive, the BBC reports.
At first, she pleaded not guilty to the charges but entered a guilty plea for three charges on Thursday.
She was handed a one-year conditional sentence, which requires her to serve time in the community, and 18 months of probation for her crimes.