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Memorable Manitobans: Helen Betty Osborne (1952-1971)

Murder victim.

Born at Norway House on 16 July 1952, daughter of Joe Osborne and Justine McKay, she moved to The Pas to attend the Guy Hill Indian Residential School and Margaret Barbour Collegiate with aspirations of becoming a teacher. She was abducted from the streets of The Pas on 13 November 1971 and was beaten, sexually assaulted, and murdered. Legal convictions for her murder, by four local Caucasian men, did not come until 16 years later. An Aboriginal Justice Commission led by judges Alvin C. Hamilton and C. Murray Sinclair, formed to determine why it took so long to resolve the case, concluded that racism, sexism, and police indifference were the main factors. Her case was finally closed in 1999. Osborne is commemorated by a monument on the former residential school site, a building at the University of Winnipeg, and a school at Norway House.

See also:

Historic Sites of Manitoba: Guy Hill Indian Residential School / Helen Betty Osborne Memorial Monument (The Pas)

Sources:

We thank Nels Bremner for providing additional information used here.

This page was prepared by Gordon Goldsborough and Alan Mason.

Page revised: 7 February 2020

Memorable Manitobans

Memorable Manitobans

This is a collection of noteworthy Manitobans from the past, compiled by the Manitoba Historical Society. We acknowledge that the collection contains both reputable and disreputable people. All are worth remembering as a lesson to future generations.

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