Lisa Bigjohn spoke about her experience attending parts of the Robert Pickton trial and the subsequent inquiry at her home in Edmonton, Alberta, on Aug. 15, 2012.
Credits: IAN KUCERAK/QMI AGENCY
But Bigjohn still has a long way to go to feeling fully healed.
Wilson's head, feet and hands were found on the Port Coquitlam, BC, farm of notorious serial killer Robert Pickton.
Pickton was later found guilty of her murder along with five others. But he didn't go to trial for the other 20 women he was accused of butchering.
An inquiry was conducted after his trial, headed up by Commissioner Wally Oppal, into how Vancouver police and RCMP could have allowed Pickton to get away with so many crimes between 1997 and 2002, when he was already a prime suspect.
As police were questioned, Bigjohn said she tried to co-operate, contacting the lawyers involved and spending a few days in Vancouver.
She said her grandfather was a medicine man in the O'Chiese First Nation, just outside Rocky Mountain House, and she herself experienced visions when the inquiry was going on.
"When I was in Vancouver, we had a meeting with Mr. Oppal. My sister's presence came and visited me and told me that justice was never done," she said.
Oppal called an end to the questioning at the beginning of June and a report is due out in October. As some wait for the report, Bigjohn already feels her visions are coming true.
"To my knowledge, it was a waste of time," said Bigjohn at her Edmonton home. "All that system did to me was reopen my wounds."
One of the more shocking revelations that came out after the trial ended and unused documents were released to the public was that Pickton was actually charged with second-degree murder in 1997, four years before Wilson disappeared.
Those charges were dropped when the woman he was accused of luring to his farm and attempting to tie up was found to be an unreliable witness because of drug and alcohol use.
Because his victims were commonly known as high-risk, often involved in drug use and prostitution, Bigjohn feels their disappearances were not pursued by police.
"In their eyes, they didn't deserve to be protected. They're not good enough for the system. To society, they were garbage," she said.
She believes there are many unanswered questions and wants to see what she calls "harsher justice" to protect those who may still be at risk of falling victim to sexual predators.
"If it's never resolved, a lot of people are going to suffer," she said.
Bigjohn would like to see more done by the Assembly of First Nations to deal with some of the more endemic problems that lead to high-risk behaviour.
"When people leave their communities, where do they go?" she said. "They're lost, they've got no help, they've got no support from their community. They pick the city and they think that's where they're going to have a good life. What happens to them? Nobody knows."
She said having First Nations leaders tackle the problem at the street level by offering outreach services to people on city streets would help them feel more inclined to seek help.
"These people will know who to talk to, who they can turn to. When they see crime happening, they know who to trust. Then they don't have to worry about being threatened," she said, adding she would like to see it addressed from the top, starting with assembly Chief Shawn Atleo.
She said she has met a lot of good police officers as well, but feels some are covering something up. She wants to see the inquiry reopened and has tried to contact some of the lawyers involved in the inquiry. She has not received a response.
Despite feeling betrayed by the justice system, Bigjohn said her grandchildren offer her a reason to hope for the future and for herself.
"If I have to take this to my grave, I hope the future provides the answer and brings justice to these women," she said.