Highway of tears: the making of a virtual reality documentary

Highway of Tears is a virtual reality documentary from CBC Radio One’s The Current about the story of one young woman, Ramona Wilson, who went missing in 1994 along British Columbia's Highway 16. As told by her mother Matilda Wilson, the immersive documentary transports the viewer to Matilda's home and then on to the notorious highway.
British Columbia's notorious Highway 16 where, according to Indigenous communities, as many as 50 women have gone missing since 1969.

Highway of Tears is a virtual reality documentary from CBC Radio One's The Current about the story of one young woman, Ramona Wilson, who went missing along British Columbia's Highway 16. She was 16-years-old when she left her home in Smithers, B.C. on June 11, 1994. Her body was discovered eight months later, but her killer has never been found.

As told by her mother Matilda Wilson, the immersive documentary transports the viewer to Matilda's home — where she shares her story of personal loss and ongoing search for answers — and then on to the notorious highway where, according to Indigenous communities, as many as 50 women have gone missing since 1969.

The Doc Project takes you behind-the-scenes of the making of the VR documentary, Highway of Tears

Canada's missing and murdered 

In its ongoing coverage, The Current has created the first multi-platform exploration of MMIW, engaging Canadians in town halls, online, visually and on air — and includes CBC's first virtual reality documentary.

How to watch the documentary

The virtual reality app to watch Highway of Tears is available for download, and a 360° version of the doc can be viewed  on Facebook and YouTube. More information →

The federal government has launched a national inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls. Its promise to undertake the inquiry came against a backdrop of emotional pleas, news stories, and police reports that underscored what is now recognized as the decades-long vulnerability and victimization of Indigenous women in Canada.

The individual stories and sheer numbers – ranging from the hundreds to thousands – of women believed to have been victims of violence directly related to their Indigenous background has captured the attention and support of Canadians across a wide spectrum.

The Current has covered this issue extensively, long before it was on the wider news agenda. In fact, Joan Webber (now documentary editor, then a new producer at The Current) produced a documentary on the highway of tears before most Canadians had even heard of it.

The VR documentary will accompany a series of town halls hosted by The Current across the country on the issue of murdered and missing Indigenous women. The first town hall took place in Prince George on October 13 and was broadcast on The Current on October 17.


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