Highway of Tears
A penetrating and deeply moving account of the missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls of Highway 16, and a searing 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 meticulously investigates the devastating effect these tragedies have had on the families of the victims and their communities, and how systemic racism and indifference has 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 provides an intimate, first-hand account of their loss and unflagging 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 the country.Highway of Tears is a piercing exploration of our ongoing failure to provide justice for missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls, and testament to their families and communities' unwavering determination to find it.

Highway of Tears Details

TitleHighway of Tears
Author
ReleaseSep 24th, 2019
PublisherDoubleday Canada
ISBN-139780385687577
Rating
GenreNonfiction, Crime, True Crime, History

Highway of Tears Review

  • ElphaReads
    January 1, 1970
    Thanks to NetGalley for providing me with an eARC of this book!I'm a huge true crime nut, but that said I am definitely aware that there are a number of problematic issues that come with the genre. One of those is that many of the stories that really take off due to media scrutiny involve victims who are white women, whereas victims who are POC tend to be lost in the shuffle. One of the most tragic and egregious examples of this is the Highway of Tears in Canada, where over the years dozens of I Thanks to NetGalley for providing me with an eARC of this book!I'm a huge true crime nut, but that said I am definitely aware that there are a number of problematic issues that come with the genre. One of those is that many of the stories that really take off due to media scrutiny involve victims who are white women, whereas victims who are POC tend to be lost in the shuffle. One of the most tragic and egregious examples of this is the Highway of Tears in Canada, where over the years dozens of Indigenous Women have gone missing and/or wound up murdered. It's a story that has so many components, players, victims, and systemic problems, that I've wanted to dig into it but haven't been able to find many centralized or consolidated sources of information. So when I found out about HIGHWAY OF TEARS by Jessica McDiarmid, I knew that I absolutely needed to read it.For decades, Indigenous Women along Highway 16 in British Columbia, Canada have gone missing, and in many cases have turned up dead. Very little headway has been made in the investigations, and as more women disappear and die, very little changes. More attention has been brought to this horrific travesty in recent years, and HIGHWAY OF TEARS is a book that tries to bring together not only the stories of the victims, but also tries to show how social injustice for Indigenous populations in Canada has made these women more vulnerable, and more invisible.This is a gut-wrenching read, but it's also incredibly necessary that attention be put on this horrible ongoing trend. What I appreciated most about this book is that McDiarmid does her very best to give a huge swath of the victims a lot of time on the page, letting us get to know them, the hardships that they faced in life, and the lives and people that were left behind after their disappearances and/or murders. Far too often have these women been lumped together as a group, which in turn dehumanizes them and makes them more of an idea than actual people, but McDiarmid is very careful to give them each a voice. I also really, really appreciated that McDiarmid doesn't shy away from the social injustices that First Nations face in Canada, and how a Canadian society, government, and criminal justice system DEEPLY entrenched in racism has created conditions that has made these populations incredibly vulnerable. She also shows a direct line from past colonial efforts (like those horrific Residential Schools) to the effects that are still present from passed down trauma and persecution. Powerful and incredibly upsetting stuff. And finally, she also compares and contrasts other women who disappeared during this time, but got far more attention and effort put towards the investigations because they were white. HIGHWAY OF TEARS is a must read. It's well written, it's a story that needs to be told, and it shines a light on an ongoing and terrible injustice.
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  • Amanda
    January 1, 1970
    Highway of Tears is an important look at racial relations, their history, and impact on the current time. It provides the perfect balance of background information with current crime investigation so the reader can see the full scope of the issues. You will get to know the victims and their families so you can see and feel the impact of the crimes. There is quite a lot of information here that makes for a very interesting read.Thank you to NetGalley for my copy of this book in exchange for my ho Highway of Tears is an important look at racial relations, their history, and impact on the current time. It provides the perfect balance of background information with current crime investigation so the reader can see the full scope of the issues. You will get to know the victims and their families so you can see and feel the impact of the crimes. There is quite a lot of information here that makes for a very interesting read.Thank you to NetGalley for my copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
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  • Andréa
    January 1, 1970
    Note: I accessed a digital review copy of this book through Edelweiss.
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