The new IACHR report on the Highway of Tears

IACHR 2015 report

IACHR 2015 report

The new IACHR report on the Highway of Tears can be found here.

It “is just one more reason for a national inquiry, said Prince George lawyer Mavis Erickson of the international body’s report.

“It’s such a dismal picture, but I think that the Inter-American Commission has done a good job in bringing the issues to light and making the statement that murdered and disappearances of indigenous women and girls are a social phenomena,” she said of the document, released Monday.”

This quote comes from the Prince George Citizen. The article explains that the IACHR report “echoed the words of provincial Missing Women Inquiry commissioner Wally Oppal in 2012, to “immediately commit” to establishing a public transit system along Highway 16, which drew from a 2006 symposium on the 724-kilometre stretch that called for seven shuttle buses to improve safety.

At least 18 girls and women, many of them native, have disappeared from or have been found murdered along B.C. highways over the past 40 years.

Tamara Chipman, 22, was last seen on Sept. 21, 2005, five kilometres east of Prince Rupert. She was hitchhiking to Terrace along Highway 16 — on a stretch of road nicknamed for the girls and women who have vanished there since 1969.

The IACHR report discusses the characteristics of the murders and the disappearances, violence and discrimination against indigenous women in British Columbia, the limitations of the Canadian Police Information Centre (CPIC) data collection system, and offers recommendations.

Addressing violence against women is not sufficient unless the underlying factors of discrimination that originate and exacerbate the violence are also comprehensively addressed. The IACHR stresses the importance of applying a comprehensive holistic approach to violence against indigenous women. This means addressing the past and present institutional and structural inequalities confronted by indigenous women in Canada. This includes the dispossession of indigenous lands, as well as historical laws and policies that negatively affected indigenous people, the consequences of which continue to prevent their full enjoyment of their civil, political, economic, social and cultural rights.”

My posts about the Highway of Tears can be found here. Other resources to explore:

  • Highway of Tears website (good overview of documents and reports),
  • Wikipedia (great overview of all cases with names and dates), and
  • the Daily Mail for victim photography and a map indicating where each victim (with picture) was found.