News Releases

News Release - Manitoba

November 13, 2022

STATEMENT FROM PREMIER HEATHER STEFANSON AND INDIGENOUS RECONCILIATION AND NORTHERN RELATIONS MINISTER ALAN LAGIMODIERE ON THE ANNIVERSARY OF THE DEATH OF HELEN BETTY OSBORNE



Today marks the anniversary of the tragic death of Helen Betty Osborne. Osborne was a 19-year-old student from Norway House Cree Nation who had dreams of becoming a teacher. A survivor of Guy Hill Residential School, Osborne chose to further her education through attending high school in The Pas.

On the morning of Nov. 13, 1971, Osborne was abducted while walking home and brutally murdered. It was not until 16 years later that one of four men implicated in the crime was convicted. Allegations of racism and indifference suggested that because Osborne was an Indigenous woman, her murder was inconsequential.

Osborne was not the first Indigenous woman to be victimized. Her death and neglect during the investigation revealed the ongoing systemic issues of missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls and 2SLGBTQQIA+ individuals, and the lasting effects on families and communities across the province and throughout Canada. As we reflect on her legacy, it is a stark reminder that there is still substantial work that needs to be completed across our country.

Addressing violence against and incidences of missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls and 2SLGBTQQIA+ individuals is a priority for Manitoba. We will continue to take a whole-of-government approach and work collaboratively and support community based, intergovernmental and interdepartmental efforts to help address these issues.

On behalf of all Manitobans, we offer our deepest condolences to Osborne’s family and community and take this time to remember those who have been taken too soon and to honour the healing journeys of their families.

To learn more on Manitoba’s actions visit www.gov.mb.ca/inr/mmiwg/manitoba-action.html.

For information on available support services and programs, visit Manitoba’s trauma informed resources at www.gov.mb.ca/inr/mmiwg/resources.html.

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