We Are All Treaty People




A conversation with Jessica McDiarmid, author of Highway of Tears

  • October 09, 2019 7 pm - 9 pm
  • McNally Robinson Booksellers, 3130 8th Street East, Saskatoon

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In-conversation with Darlene R. Okemaysim-Sicotte and signing Highway of Tears: A True Story of Racism, Indifference, and the Pursuit of Justice for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (Doubleday Canada). This event is co-presented by Iskwewuk E-wichiwitochik (Women Walking Together).

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.

Jessica McDiarmid is a Canadian journalist who has worked across North America and Africa. She has written for the Associated Press, the Toronto Star, CBC, IPS Africa and The Harvard Review, among other publications, and trains local journalists through her work with Journalists for Human Rights. McDiarmid grew up near the Highway of Tears and currently lives in British Columbia. This is her first book. Find her online and on Twitter: @jessmcdiarmid

Iskwewuk E-wichiwitochik (Women Walking Together) is a network of concerned citizens – activists, academics, grass roots people and organizations from the province of Saskatchewan who came together in 2005, out of concern for the lack of attention given to cases of missing Aboriginal women in Saskatchewan and Canada. The group focuses its efforts on raising awareness of systemic violence against women through education and political action. They remain committed to the broader goal of social justice and peace, by providing moral and direct support to families of missing Aboriginal women, collaboration with organizations in the prevention of violence against women and paying tribute to missing individuals.