Highway of Tears

Jun 17, 2023 | Crime, Videos

Canada’s indigenous population has long faced injustice and hardship. From the time Europeans first arrived in Canada, they have been marginalised or mistreated in various ways. Now, a new VPRO documentary shines a light on one of these injustices: the disappearance and death of many indigenous women and girls over the past few decades.

The documentary follows Dutch reporter Emy Koopman as she travels to Smithers, British Columbia to speak with the families of missing girls. The statistics are staggering: Indigenous women are six times more likely to die from violence than non-indigenous women. In British Columbia alone, it is estimated that over 40 girls have gone missing since the 1970s: most of them belonging to the indigenous population.

This tragedy has roots in colonial policy: generations ago, Indigenous children were taken away from their families and placed into boarding schools – part of an effort to strip them of their cultural heritage and language. But even today, far too little is being done to address this issue – or to bring justice for those affected by it.

The new documentary tells the story of Ramona Wilson – one such victim whose case remains unsolved 25 years after she was found dead. It also gives voice to her family and other community members fighting for recognition and justice for these forgotten lives lost too soon. By watching this powerful film, we can all learn more about what happened and how we can help make sure it never happens again.

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David B