The rakes and markers are out and the search has begun.
Today’s goal: find bones.
Drag the Red’s hope is such a find could give closure to a family member with a missing or murdered loved one.
It’s a potential discovery the group of 25 volunteer searchers from the group, who gathered at Winnipeg’s Central Park on Saturday for a crash course in identifying human bones, have to prepare for.
“You’re hoping to find something but then you’re sort of hoping you don’t, because then it means that the person is gone,” said Chantel Henderson, 35.
As an Indigenous woman, Henderson herself has worried about being murdered, and she has Indigenous friends and relatives who have gone missing. One of them is Kerry Klyne.
The Indigenous man and friend to Henderson hasn’t been seen since November 2010.
Saturday’s training session brought memories of Klyne, and of a search for Sindy Ruperthouse — who went missing in Quebec in 2014 — back to Henderson’s mind.
“Just the heaviness, you know, all the feelings.”
Drag the Red started in 2014 with the goal of helping to solve cases of missing and murdered Indigenous women by searching the river, and the riverbank, for remains or other evidence.
Drag the Red searches the Red River by dropping metal bars with hooks and chains into the river to pull up possible remains.
Emily Holland, an anthropology professor at Brandon University, led Saturday’s workshop on bones for the third year in a row.
Holland started the day off with a lecture at the University of Winnipeg and gave searchers a lesson on the basics.
“Bone can look like a lot of things and a lot of things can look like bone,” Holland said, adding a bone could appear to be a piece of wood or plastic.
She took the group of searchers to Central Park to give volunteers…