The Highway of Tears

 

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They really have no voice.

In the northern region of British Columbia, Canada, there is a highway that has become known as the Highway of Tears.

If you drive there, and you forget the high trees, dense forest, and majestic mountains peaks that you can see in a distance, you will realize that you are driving on a strip of road that, since1962, has seen the disappearance  of 582 women and girls.

The missing women and girls are all indigenous.

Almost forty percent of them disappeared after the year 2000. No one knows why; the Government of Canada does not investigate. They have just vanished, evaporated into the thin air of this isolated part of Canada.

We have committed so many crimes against the indigenous population. We have killed them. Ignored them. Stolen from them. Humiliated them. They have indeed became a marginalized footnote in history. Just like these 582 women victims of violence.

At least let us try to remember them

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72 Comments

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72 responses to “The Highway of Tears

  1. This is atrocious. What has become of our civilized world? Or has it never been civilized?

  2. This is truly awful. Living in the UK, I barely hear anything about the indigenous people of Canada. From what you’ve said here, they’ve suffered appalling injustices. Thank you for highlighting this issue. I will remember these people in my prayers.

  3. The fact that local law enforcement isn’t investigating is so beyond unacceptable :-\

  4. This makes me so angry….they are all daughters, sisters and lost.

  5. The lack of attention to these women is deplorable. Thanks for this post.

  6. it is unbelievable at this point in history a government could turn a blind eye to something like this! The native people of America and Canada deserve so much more than either country does!

  7. Reblogged this on Essence of Pride, Inc. and commented:
    It is so sad that this is happening, someone really should do something about it. It makes you wonder how the authorities are determining who lives are important. Is it not the job of the authorities to protect and serve All? Hmmm! (Massive Fail!)

  8. Horrible. They are surely remembered.

  9. Reblogged this on catterel and commented:
    This is something that should not and cannot simply be disregarded and swept under the carpet.

  10. Just reflagged this – it cannot be allowed to be ignored.

  11. Sunshine

    Great post! And yes too many Native women go missing or end up deaf in Canada. Recently the RCMP ( Canadian police) finished a long over due report on this topic and about 1186 aboriginal women are missing or murdered right now. To no surprise this report is just that…still nothing being done to find these poor souls…sad..

  12. I looked this up on Wikipedia, never have heard of it before. They list the names of 20 victims and say that aboriginal leaders estimate the number could be as much as 43. Looking at a few sites, I nowhere find a number approaching the one you quote. Could you include a citation for your information?

    • Scillagrace, thank you for your question: I looked at the Native Women Association of Canada Report of the Abuse on Indigenous Women and on the RCMP report on indigenous women murdered or gone missing.
      I appreciate your contribution!

      • On the first report, I find this sentence: “Approximately 500 Aboriginal women have been murdered or reported missing over the past 15 years.” I interpret that as nationwide, not just on that one strip of road. Still, appalling. In the second report, I find this summary: “Police-reported incidents of Aboriginal female homicides and unresolved missing Aboriginal female investigations in this review total 1,181. This number includes 1,017 Aboriginal female homicide victims between 1980 and 2012, and 164 Aboriginal women currently considered missing. Of these, there are 225 unsolved cases of either missing or murdered aboriginal women.” The numbers are only the beginning of the tangle. The challenge is to go beyond the shock value of statistics to look at the deeper issues imbedded there. Thanks for leading others into the awareness of the situation. The reports are good illustrations of how organizations begin the attempt to correct something egregious. It is a slow process, for sure, and the anger and impatience that is no doubt part of the outrage is not really addressed there. Healing on those fronts would probably have to come from a different place. So much more to do to bring justice…..

      • My dear friend (please allow me to call you that), you are indeed right! it is appalling…but you are absolutely right: the start of a good healing process is to have the organizations involved to start looking into it. Of course and this would deserve better and deeper “posts” why this is happening? I valued our exchange and I hope to read more of/from you!

  13. We remember. No one shall be forgotten.

  14. madeupagin

    I truly understand why it is called that, The Highway of Tears. The tears the women must have shed, and the tears their families have probably never quit shedding. WHY is no one looking into this? I truly do not understand. These are human beings! We (in the US) get all upset over one Muslim girl with strength to stand up against the leaders of her faith and is shot in the head — why can’t the world stand up in horror at the loss of these women? I shall cry tears in their honor.

  15. Thank you for opening our eyes to this atrocity.

  16. Thank you for drawing attention to British Columbia’s Highway of Tears. This stretch of road has, indeed, had it’s share of tragedies. A young friend of mine drove it several years ago and was terrified as a huge semi truck followed close behind her for many miles until she pulled into a truck stop and called the police. You might want to check out the article I’ve attached below. It gives a different statistical perspective than your own.

    http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2156982/Highway-Tears-The-mystery-Canadas-missing-women.html

  17. Hey I have nominated you for Inspirational Blogger. You can check it out here:http://indiandrifter.wordpress.com/2014/06/23/very-inspiring-blogger-award/

    I am new and didnt know how to Link 🙂

  18. Thank you for your post on the Highway of Tears. I don’t mean this as a self-plug, but I am writing at the moment about Aboriginal Australians following my artist residency with communities of the Central Australian desert regions, and the parallel stories are there.

  19. Wow. Amazing things our governments due.

  20. Reblogged this on Jasmine Sumayyah Washington and commented:
    Reminds me of the historic slaughter of my ancestors the Native American Cherokee Tribe as they were mercilessly marched along what came to be known as the Trail of Tears. Tragically senseless depravity.
    “At the beginning of the 1830s, nearly 125,000 Native Americans lived on millions of acres of land in Georgia, Tennessee, Alabama, North Carolina and Florida–land their ancestors had occupied and cultivated for generations. By the end of the decade, very few natives remained anywhere in the southeastern United States. Working on behalf of white settlers who wanted to grow cotton on the Indians’ land, the federal government forced them to leave their homelands and walk thousands of miles to a specially designated “Indian territory” across the Mississippi River. This difficult and sometimes deadly journey is known as the Trail of Tears.” – http://www.history.com/topics/native-american-history/trail-of-tears

  21. good God! What about their families? they get silenced too?

  22. God Bless you for this posting.
    It is so very important!
    If you ever have the time, I hope that you might please come to see my new Bog about Global Culture:
    http://tahtonka.wordpress.com/
    Feel free to delete this link, I had no other way to share it with you~

  23. It’s really important that we notice these things. Unfortunately, the most common mistake made during discussion on someone’s right to land, ethnic problems and whatnot is that the true indigenous people, like Eskimo or Aborigines, are taken out of the picture. Nansen would be outraged (again…).

  24. My mind cannot understand the horrors we inflict on our fellow man. Domestic Violence, Torture, in-Humanity of any kind is beyond my capacity of underdtanding. Thank you for bringing a subject to the forefront.
    I am nominating you for the Very Inspiring Blogger award: http://live2laugh4love.wordpress.com/2014/07/14/nomination-very-inspiring-blogger-award-2/

  25. Jill Dearest

    Any further info about this?

  26. Hi Gianfranco, your Blog is interesting and I have wanted to do a piece or more on our treatment of our indigenous peoples in Australia. This post reminded me so much of the treatment of Aboriginal women and girls at the outback truck stops..(Australia)..amongst other things.
    I will take time and check your other posts. Oh, PS thanks for the support on my asidewrite wordpress blog much appreciated as a new blogger! Blog on!

    • Dear friend I applaud your sentiment. Writing about the treatment of Aboriginal women and girls is very important (like it is, I think for any mistreated human being on earth). Please let me know if I can do anything to help and I look forward to your work…

  27. I recently saw a piece about this road and the search for one missing from here. Indeed, the authorities do not look for these women. They are afraid. I did not, however, realize that these women and girls are all indigenous. How very interesting in itself. Truly I would like to know what evil is conducted here. I would like to see these girls found, living or dead, and justice to be brought forth.

  28. The covering up of this crime makes my misogyny sense tingle; Muchos gracias for writing this article.

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