No more tears

Last week I picked up a hitchhiker.

This in itself was not abnormal.

When I was living outside of Vanderhoof, I would often give rides to people from Stoney Creek on my way to town.

Ruth Lloyd

 

Black Press

 

Last week I picked up a hitchhiker.

This in itself was not abnormal.

When I was living outside of Vanderhoof, I would often give rides to people from Stoney Creek on my way to town.

The abnormal thing was it was a young woman, probably around 18-years-old, and she was First Nations.

It was just outside of Prince George, and the young woman, named Darcy, was going to Terrace. She had come all the way from Vernon.

She didn’t know it was the “Highway of Tears” she was now on.

She also didn’t have a plan for when it got dark, which it was doing just as we got to Vanderhoof.

Now some people might think women are foolish for hitching by themselves, and I have even heard people suggest “you’re practically asking for it” by doing this.

Whatever “it” is.

Sexual exploitation, sexual assault, death?

No these women aren’t.

How do I know that?

I was one.

As a young woman, I also hitchhiked.

I was that foolish.

But at the time, I just wanted to get places and didn’t think being a woman should stop me.

No one was going to drive me, so it was hitch or stay where I was.

Sometimes where a person is isn’t all that safe either.

And what other options did Darcy have really?

She didn’t have any money, and even if she did, the bus system in the northwest is inconvenient and the connections are poor, like in most of rural B.C.

So she should be forced to stay home because of the lack of transportation and the sick and predatory nature of some men?

Perhaps she would be better off, but when you are young, adventure usually seems worth the risk. It did for me. Probably the youth-associated illness of “it will never happen to me” also had something to do with it.

I came out unscathed, if a little smarter and wiser.

I only hope Darcy is as lucky.

It makes me want to help other young women trying simply to get around in northwest B.C. or north-central B.C.

If there is anyone out there who knows of a ride-sharing page on Facebook, Craigslist or through local organizations, please let me know.

 

Maybe one day the governments, first nations groups, municipalities and communities of these areas will put the safety and welfare of young women amongst their higher priorities and finally work together to provide more options so one day there will no longer be a “Highway of Tears.”

 

 

Just Posted

Incumbents and acclaimed mayors win elections all across B.C.’s north

Fraser Lake saw their first female mayor elected

Mayoral results from across B.C.

Voters in 162 municipalities in B.C. set to elect mayor, council, school board and more

Every vote counts: 10 tightest races in B.C.’s municipal elections

Peachland saw their election decided by just one vote

Community paramedic to teach free CPR lessons Sunday

Local event includes ambulance and fire truck tours, fire extinguisher lessons

Local runners get personal bests at Kelowna half marathon

Brian Nemethy on the dedication of one local runner

Tommy Chong says cannabis legalization makes him proud to be a Canadian

Legendary marijuana advocate and comedian celebrates cultural milestone at Kelowna event

B.C. Youtuber to seal himself ‘in a jar’ to demonstrate impacts of climate change

Kurtis Baute wants to see how long he can last in a 1,000 cubic foot, air-tight greenhouse

One of Taiwan’s fastest trains derails, killing at least 18

The train was carrying more than 360 people

Scheer marks one-year countdown to federal election with campaign-style speech

Conservative Leader insists that it will be Justin Trudeau who ‘makes it personal’

Canada Post union announces rotating strikes in four Canadian cities

Mail will still be delivered but it will be delayed

B.C. VIEWS: Residents have had enough of catering to squatters

Media myth of homeless victims offends those who know better

B.C. man sets new Canadian marathon record at Toronto Waterfront Marathon

Cam Levins ran it in two hours nine minutes 25 seconds

B.C. Liberals’ hopes high as Nanaimo by-election approaches

Historically safe NDP seat vacated by long-time MLA Leonard Krog

Leaving B.C.’s electoral reform to a referendum is ‘ridiculous’: professor

B.C. voters getting ballots in the mail on proposal to change electoral system

Most Read