In the late 1980's to the early 2000's many young aboriginal women in Northern British Columbia went missing or were found murdered along the 724 Kilometer length of highway 16, now known as the Highway of Tears. The RCMP's investigation into the murders, referred to as Project E-Pana, began in the fall of 2005. Proportionately across Canada, the number of aboriginal women who experience violence or become murder victims far outweighs the First Nations population. To address this alarming statistic, start prevention work, and to support families, Carrier Sekani Family Services started advocating for change.
In 2006 Carrier Sekani Family Services hosted a symposium to raise public awareness and create a call for action. More than 500 people were in attendance including service providers, First Nations community members, and victim's family members. Thirty three recommendations came out of this important meeting covering four key areas: victim prevention, emergency readiness, victim family support, and community development. Each of these recommendations came first from the understanding that the communities along the highway of tears share a history of colonization, which has resulted in experiences of poverty, violence, loss of culture, addictions, and displacement from land. To see the full highway of tears report please click here.
Since 2006 Carrier Sekani Family Services has provided advocacy, support for any family members and friends who have lost loved ones to violence. In addition, we have provided prevention education to First Nations communities across Northern British Columbia. Training has included providing communities with an overview of our Highway of Tears community toolkit to support violence prevention and emergency response planning. We are currently working to provide continued support to family members, as well as providing forum opportunities for women to discuss ways to prevent sexual violence. We are also working with communities to address transportation issues by providing community-driving training in Northern First Nations. For a complete overview of our program, please visit the Highway of Tears Website at http://www.highwayoftears.ca.
Last modified: Sunday 01-May-16 15:03:46 PDT