British Columbia

Women's resource worker calls for Highway of Tears monument to missing and murdered women

'I think as a community we need to step up and help families with the burden of grief'

Andrew Kurjata - CBC News

December 06, 2017

For 12 years, an annual walk has been organized in memory of Tamara Chipman and other women and girls who have gone missing or were murdered along Highway 16 in northwest B.C. (Briar Stewart/CBC)

A women's resource worker in Terrace, B.C. would like to see a permanent memorial built for the missing and murdered women and girls of the Skeena Valley, including the stretch of road known as the Highway of Tears.

Adrianne Davidson of the Terrace Women's Resource Centre Society said the idea came to her after seeing a monument erected in Quesnel, B.C. to honour victims of violence in that city.

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"Other places back east, Nova Scotia, Saskatchewan have them," Davidson said. "We don't really have anything."

In 2010, the Quesnel Women's Memorial Monument was erected to recognize women there who were murdered, went missing or were victims of violence. It is one of dozens of memorials across the county. (Quesnel Women's Resource Centre)

Terrace is located along Highway 16 between Prince George and Prince Rupert. The road is often referred to as the Highway of Tears because of the number of women, primarily Indigenous, who have gone missing or were murdered along or near it since 1970.

That, coupled with Terrace's position as a hub for the region, makes it important for the city to recognize the women and families who have suffered because of violence, Davidson said.

"I think as a community we need to step up and help families with the burden of grief," she said.

Davidson has held community meetings and is reaching out to families and survivors for input on what form such a monument might take.

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