Highway of Tears 7b - The Highway of Tears


Canada: The Highway of Tears

[imagecaption] ‘Highway of Tears: 360 Video’ on The Current, 2016. Video: CBC. [/imagecaption]


In 2002 a non-Indigenous woman went missing along Highway 16 in northern British Columbia. As a result of the media coverage of her disappearance, it was revealed that eight Indigenous girls between the ages of 14 and 25 had also gone missing or were found murdered along the same highway. It is now understood that dozens of women and girls have disappeared along what has become known as the ‘Highway of Tears’. The majority of them are Indigenous.

In 2005, the RCMP initiated ‘Project E-Pana‘ to investigate the cases of 18 missing and murdered women, 10 of whom were Indigenous. Part of the criteria for this investigation was that victims had to be involved in hitchhiking or what RCMP termed ‘other high risk behaviour’, for example being a sex worker. The use of this description feeds into stereotypes about Indigenous women and at some level imputes a degree of blame to the women for their own disappearances and — too often — their own violent murders.


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