LAW & CRIME

Highway of Tears: A True Story of Racism, Indifference, and the Pursuit of Justice for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls

Atria. Nov. 2019. 352p. notes. index. ISBN 9781501160288. $28; ebk. ISBN 9781501160301. CRIME
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Investigative journalist McDiarmid shines a powerful light on an ongoing tragedy. For decades, Canadian law enforcement and the country’s legal system has ineffectually dealt with thousands of cases of missing and murdered Indigenous women. Focusing on Highway 16 in British Columbia, the infamous Highway of Tears, this book by McDiarmid contains interviews with families of victims and Royal Canadian Mounted Police investigators in order to construct a patterned history of these missing and murdered women. Personal accounts of Ramona Wilson, Delphine Nikal, Roxanne Thiara, Lana Derrick, Alishia Germaine, Nicole Hoar, Alberta Williams, Aielah Saric-Auger, Tamera Chipman, and Mackie Basil, among others, are presented. Members of their families, such as Brenda and Matilda Wilson and Florence Naziel, became social activists and conducted memorial protest walks along Highway 16, eventually drawing international attention to the tragedy.
VERDICT This ongoing national crisis of violence against women is not unique to Canada, and is being scrutinized in the United States, too. McDiarmid’s exposé of racism and the lack of justice for indigenous women should be required reading for all.

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