On this week's Best of VICE Canada, airing Sunday, February 14, as part of our Searchers series, VICE explores the crisis of missing & murdered Indigenous women. VICE embeds with Drag the Red, the volunteer-run initiative to dredge Winnipeg's main river searching for bodies of missing Aboriginal women. Later, we meet the family of Misty Potts, a First Nations woman who disappeared in 2015.
VICE embeds with Drag the Red, the volunteer-run initiative to dredge Winnipeg's main river searching for bodies of missing Aboriginal women. Winnipeg's Red River has long been thought of as the unofficial graveyard for the the city's criminal underbelly. But when the body of a 15-year-old First Nations girl named Tina Fontaine was pulled from the river wrapped in a garbage bag in August 2014, it shocked the city. A group of volunteers decided to take to the water to do what they say police won't. VICE embedded with the crew of Drag the Red ground searchers checking the banks of the river for fresh bodies and with a boat crew who use fish hooks to search the river for bodies that may have sunk to the bottom.
You can't help but shudder at the sinister nickname for British Columbia's Provincial AutoRoute 16, known as "The Highway of Tears," which is both a trucking passage and the winding graveyard of up to 42 Aboriginal women—most of whom assumed murdered by a series of active serial killers. In fact, the RCMP, Canada's famous Mounties and the chief police force investigating the murders—believes there are active serial killers currently operating along the highway. The RCMP puts the official number of women who have been murdered along the highway at 18.
Running west to east through some of the most remote terrain in North America, passing by desolate First Nations reserves and logging towns, the highway has become synonymous with the endemic violence towards Indigenous women in Canada: They're five times more likely than any other ethnicity in the country to be raped or murdered.
Tune in this and every Sunday at 10 PM for more.