By Brian Kelly, Sault Star, December 31, 2015
A staff dedicated to the memory of missing and murdered aboriginal women was removed from Highway 17 because it was found beside the side of the road, Ministry of Transportation says.
The 10-foot high wooden marker will remain at its original site at Chippewa River, 50 kilometres north of Sault Ste. Marie, said a ministry spokesperson.
The staff went up following a walk north of the city on Dec. 20.
Event organizer Emerson Riel said the staff went missing days later.
Carole Paiement, communications services co-ordinator with MTO, said a patrol maintenance technician found the staff, “realized this item may have some significance” and brought the marker to a patrol warehouse.
“Once our staff were notified as to who the owner was, the item was safely returned,” said Paiement in an email.
Ministry staff talked to Chief Dean Sayers, of Batchewana First Nation, before the walk was held.
“We respect the group’s initiative and want to ensure we work cooperatively to ensure safety of the community group and the travelling public,” said Paiement. “Ministry staff will follow up with our maintenance staff and the area maintenance contractor to ensure that the monument remains in place as the location was determined to be in a safe location.”