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Fort Macleod residents walk for victims of crime

Aiming to raise public awareness of the rights of victims of crime, Ranchlands Victim Services Society is holding a walk in Fort Macleod on Wednesday, April 13.
The walk in conjunction with national Victims of Crime Awareness Week will end with a lunch and program at Trinity United Church.
Ranchlands Victim Services has arranged for three guest speakers to make presentations at the 12 noon lunch and program.
Louise English, whose son Steven was stabbed to death, will speak, as will High Prairie medicine man William Lizotte — also known by his “spirit name” BenĂ¼a.
Ranchlands Victim Services board member Deanna Schmidt will also speak.
The program will include drummers, dancers, a round dance, and a give-away dance.
Art by the children who participated in Ranchlands’ poster contest will be displayed, and winners will be announced.
“We hope to increase awareness of victims’ rights, and of our organization, which has offices in four RCMP detachments — Fort Macleod, Pincher Creek, Brocket, and Claresholm,” Ranchlands Victim Services Society president Judy Walde said.
“It’s important that all victims of crime and trauma in our communities realize that organizations such as Ranchlands Victim Services Society are available to provide support, information and referrals,” Walde said. “It’s also important that communities recognize that while the accused perpetrators of crime are dealt with through the justice system, victims of crime require support to navigate their way through that system.
“All victims of crime or trauma need to receive support so they can return to their normal lives and be emotionally and physically healthy, productive citizens. In this way their families, employers and communities will be stronger.”
People interested in participating in the walk are invited to meet around 10:30 a.m. at Mac’s Convenience Store in preparation for the 11 a.m. start.
“Anyone believing in the program is welcome to attend,” Walde invited. “Persons who have been victimized, victim services personnel . . . and people who wish to support victims and believe that increased awareness is important.”
Participants will walk west on Main Street from the Mac’s store to Second Avenue and turn south on Second to Red Crow Boulevard (the eastbound one-way). They’ll then walk east to Third Avenue, and south to eventually end up at Trinity United Church on 20th Street.
Walde hopes the walk will become an annual event held every April as part of National Victims of Crime Awareness Week sponsored by Justice Canada.
Ranchlands Victim Services Society serves the area from Stavely to Waterton Park, and Monarch to Beaver Mines.