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Highway of Tears : a true story of racism, indifference and the pursuit of justice for missing and murdered indigenous women and girls
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A searing and revelatory account of the missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls of Highway 16, and an indictment of the society that failed them.

For decades, Indigenous women and girls have gone missing or been found murdered along an isolated stretch of highway in northwestern British Columbia. The highway is known as the Highway of Tears, and it has come to symbolize a national crisis.

Journalist Jessica McDiarmid investigates the devastating effect these tragedies have had on the families of the victims and their communities, and how systemic racism and indifference have created a climate where Indigenous women and girls are over-policed, yet under-protected. Through interviews with those closest to the victims--mothers and fathers, siblings and friends--McDiarmid offers an intimate, first-hand account of their loss and relentless fight for justice. Examining the historically fraught social and cultural tensions between settlers and Indigenous peoples in the region, McDiarmid links these cases to others across Canada--now estimated to number up to 4,000--contextualizing them within a broader examination of the undervaluing of Indigenous lives in this country.

Highway of Tears is a powerful story about our ongoing failure to provide justice for missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls, and a testament to their families and communities' unwavering determination to find it.
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Booklist Review
McDiarmid is a Canadian journalist who grew up near Highway 16, British Columbia's 450-mile section of the Yellowhead Highway known as the Highway of Tears. In her first book, she investigates in painstaking detail the stories of the Indigenous women and girls who have gone missing or been murdered in the vicinity over the last few decades. While the exact number of victims is disputed the Royal Canadian police estimates the number to be about 1,200, while the Native Women's Association of Canada puts it closer to 4,000 the count is staggering. McDiarmid's touching, poignant account intricately details the backgrounds of many of the victims, and their families and loved ones. She deftly explains the continuous circle of blatant racism, depression, hopelessness, poverty, and addiction faced by the women, brought on by lack of opportunity and, frankly, by lack of care from the government. (A former prime minister is quoted as saying the issue ""isn't really high on our radar, to be honest."") McDiarmid also shares stories of those fighting for justice. A powerful must-read.--Cassandra Smith Copyright 2019 Booklist
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