One young woman from a close community gone missing is heartbreaking enough. Go a little wider on the map, though, and Vanderhoof becomes just another of a series of tragic waypoints along a slice of northern B.C. where there are dozens of unsolved cases of women and girls who’ve vanished or been murdered going back four decades. The only link between many of the cases remains proximity to Highway 16, a road now infamously known as the Highway of Tears.
I’ve been hearing about these women half my life. I remember the posters that collected all the missing faces. I remember when they started calling it “Highway of Tears.” I remember when we started confusing the disappearances of these women in the Central BC with the disappearances of the women in the Downtown Eastside because a lot of First Nations women have to go missing before it matters.