I would like to bring your attention to an issue that exists in a country, a country that generally many people do not consider as being a place where bad things happen. That country is Canada. The issue? The missing and murdered First Nations women who have disappeared on what is now called “the Highway of tears”.
Tons of women go missing or are murdered on highway 16 in BC, Canada. Most of these cases are unsolved leaving their families devestated. These women come from communities that are impoverished, struggling, and traumatized after years of oppression and being generally trapped by the colonial system that they are under. These girls have to hitchhike on isolated roads because they have no access public transport or money for a car. They are at risk. It’s the perfect hunting ground for a killer: deep dark woods, hitchhikers, and no people for miles at a time. The highway connects tons of towns and is 4,860 miles long!And even if these women knew self defence, how would they escape when there is nowhere to go and no one to help? Much of this is due to racism. As reserves are often isolated from other towns, these cases do not get the attention that they deserve, so nothing is done. Despite Truth and Reconciliation commission and the inquiries made into the staggering amount of missing women, not much is being done, and many families still do not have answers. People in official roles do not want to get their hands dirty, and don’t want to admit that there is an issue. Outside of Canada, this is not discussed enough if at all.
I only know about it because I’m interested in true crime, and saw a documentary about this case. But most people are not spending their time listening to documentaries. Or they choose to ignore this issue.
These socioeconomic issues are systemic and complex. They are as such, hard to change. But small changes can help. More lighting, better organized searches, voluntary public transport, pay what you can taxi, systems to have safe space taxis for women, better education, safety lessons, more jobs, fundraising for these services or money given by the government, most importantly support and recognition for the victims and families.
As well, more people, both in Canada and abroad, need to read up and learn about this issue, because the death of First Nations women, and women in general, can happen anywhere, and no one talks about it.
It doesn’t have to be this way. So many things that could help. Every little helps. But how do you make change? I don’t know, but I hope that at least you might learn something from this post. Someone, anyone, has to try. These are lives, families, communities, that are being affected. No country wants to know their people are dying. But thats the reality.
It’s not just on the Highway of tears, but all over the world. Issues like these put people at risk, especially in our global society. I think it starts with education. Even in the sense that you need education to know how to put lights up on the highway but also education so people get jobs and have money. Education on self defence etc. Education to even know this issue exists. So you need good kind hearted people to volunteer their time and resources.
Choose kindness. Be kind to people. Offer them a safe ride. Share your knowledge. Share your story to help others. Share your resources. Support one another. Support families of the missing and murdered. Don’t mariginalize people because of their race, gender, religion or ability. choose kindness.