Article content continued

For Dianne, the lawsuit is about far more than money — although money would help in supporting Danita’s children whom Dianne is raising. For her, it’s about a much needed change. She wants things to be different for coming generations of Indigenous women and girls, and in the meantime wants to help both her own family and others enduring similar tragedies.

“I want to do it for her children, for one thing,” she said. “I finally have somebody that believes that something did happen to her and somebody has to be held accountable … Maybe we’ll have a good outcome here. But I’m not going to stop until they do something about it.”

While Dianne has found a sense of calm within experiences that have been anything but, she admits to still catching herself in moments of shock.

“I was born here,” she says. “I never ever thought this would happen to me.”

She copes through prayer, ceremonies, help from elders and her church. But mainly, she works to stay strong for Danita’s kids and four-month-old grandchild.

“I always tell them, ‘Let me worry about it. I’m the one that’s going to find her,’ so they kind of just leave it with me,” she says.

She finds comfort too in the kids, soon turning 18 and 15, and the way they remind her so much of their mom. She says she lives with regrets about the things she feels she didn’t do right with Danita.

“I can make up for it with her daughter,” she says. “That’s why I’m there for them 100 per cent. I can do it over with her daughter and make sure that she’s raised right and gets a good education and gets a good job. Same with (her) son.”

REGINA, SASK : September 18, 2020 -- Dianne BigEagle stands in front of Court of Queen's Bench in Regina, Saskatchewan on Sept. 18. 2020. Her daughter Danita has been missing since 2007. BRANDON HARDER/ Regina Leader-Post
Dianne BigEagle stands in front of Court of Queen’s Bench in Regina, Saskatchewan on Sept. 18. 2020. Her daughter Danita has been missing since 2007. Photo by BRANDON HARDER /Regina Leader-Post

hpolischuk@postmedia.com

twitter.com/LPHeatherP

tinyurlis.gdv.gdv.htclck.ruulvis.netshrtco.detny.im