Highway of Tears chronicles the notorious, decades-long string of murders and disappearances of young Indigenous women along British Columbia’s Highway 16.
The film explores how this systemic violence is linked to the effects of generational poverty, residential schools, and high unemployment rates on First Nations reserves.
Since the late 1960s, at least 18 young women — many of them from disadvantaged First Nations communities — have disappeared or been found murdered along the 724-kilometre stretch of Highway 16 in northern British Columbia. None of these cold cases were ever solved until 2012, when a special RCMP investigation was able to link DNA from one of the murder victims to deceased US criminal Bobby Jack Fowler; but this single answer has done little to heal the wounds of Aboriginal communities who have seen dozens of their young women vanish along the “Highway of Tears,” victims not only of murderous predators but of the systemic racism of a federal government that keeps them trapped on impoverished reservations and, as critics charge, evinced little interest in apprehending their killers.
Narrated by Nathan Fillion, Highway of Tears not only movingly relates the personal stories of the victims and their families, but investigates how the legacy of generational poverty, high unemployment and endemic violence in their communities contributed to their tragic fates — and how contemporary First Nations leaders are striving to cure those ills.
March 27, 2015
Metropolitian Community Church of Toronto
115 Simpson Ave
In Riverdale, one block north of Gerrard, one block west of Logan
Followed by a discussion with:
Niki Ashton, MP for Churchill, NDP Aboriginal Affairs Critic, formerly Women’s Affairs Critic
Darlene King, Literacy Coordinator,The Native Women’s Resource Centre of Toronto
Matt Smiley, Director of Highway of Tears
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