Supporters hold rally outside Saskatoon courthouse before Dawn Walker court appearance

A Saskatoon woman facing parental abduction and public mischief charges after allegedly crossing into the United States illegally will make her first Canadian court appearance Monday morning.

Dawn Walker disappeared in late July along with her seven-year-old son, who CBC News is not naming now that he’s been found.

Her truck and other personal belongings were found at Chief Whitecap Park, near the South Saskatchewan River near Saskatoon, on July 25. 

Walker and her son were found safe in Oregon City, Ore., on Aug. 5 and she was arrested while her son was brought back to Saskatoon by a legal guardian shortly afterward.

Before the appearance, supporters held a rally in front of court, holding signs of support and speaking in support of Walker.

Walker has previously made domestic violence allegations against her ex, who is the father of her son.

Police have said the allegations were investigated but no evidence was found to support them.

“NWAC is really relieved to hear that Dawn is back in Canada and pleased that she’ll have a quick bail hearing,” said Judy Hughes, a special advisor with the Native Women’s Association of Canada outside court.

“Hopefully she’ll be freed, and we’re also here with everybody demanding justice and fair treatment.”

The Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations (FSIN), a group representing First Nations in Saskatchewan, is calling for Walker’s release and an investigation into the police’s handling of Walker’s domestic violence allegations.

At about 4 p.m. CST Friday, Walker was transferred into Saskatoon police custody after spending two weeks in U.S. federal custody and then in RCMP custody in B.C. 

She is also facing charges in the U.S. related to allegedly using false documents to cross the border, and U.S. prosecutors previously said in a request to detain her while waiting for a trial that Walker had been planning to fake her own death prior to her disappearance.

Additional charges could be tacked onto her case as the investigation into the events surrounding her disappearance progress, Saskatoon police say.

A smiling woman with blonde hair.
Dawn Walker is facing charges of parental abduction and public mischief but the Saskatoon Police Service hasn’t ruled out additional charges. (Submitted by Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations)

Walker is an acclaimed author and was also the executive operating officer of the FSIN.

One of Canada’s best-known defence lawyers, Marie Henein, said last week that she would be defending Walker on her Canadian charges.

Henein is known for several high-profile cases, defending people like Michael Bryant, Vice-Admiral Mark Norman and Jian Ghomeshi.

When asked if the Federation would be paying for Walker’s legal fees, vice-chief Heather Bear said it would if it had the money, but referenced a GoFundMe campaign set up to aid with legal fees. 

That GoFundMe has raised nearly $30,000 in donations as of Sunday at noon.

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