Grace Davidson, Grace-Ella Beckley and Cameron Beauchamp listen to discussions about the memorial project during YVC’s second meeting on June 6 at Volunteer Terrace. (Brittany Gervais photo)

Grace Davidson, Grace-Ella Beckley and Cameron Beauchamp listen to discussions about the memorial project during YVC’s second meeting on June 6 at Volunteer Terrace. (Brittany Gervais photo)

Terrace youth take action for Highway of Tears memorial

Youth corps wants to see a memorial built for missing and murdered women

After discovering there is no memorial to honour the missing and murdered Indigenous women of the Skeena Valley, the Youth Volunteer Corps (YVC) of Terrace have decided to take action.

“[A memorial] is missing all along Highway 16 and we want to bring some attention to this problem,” said Thomas Lecky, a Grade-12 student at Caledonia Secondary School during a YVC meeting last Thursday.

YVC is a network of affiliated organizations in the U.S. and Canada that create team-based volunteer opportunities for youth. Established last year, the group in Terrace is open to teenagers between 11 to 18 years old and is the second YVC group in Canada.

Current plans for the memorial include a sunken garden and totem-pole monument, which will be maintained by YVC and Volunteer Terrace after its completion. Through conversations with advocates and families affected by the crisis, the teenagers said they understood the importance of giving the community a permanent place to honour the missing and murdered.

“This is the first big project that we want to focus on for years to come,” Lecky said.

“All the people that have been affected by it now, in the past and in the future, it will be here for a long time and will serve as a reminder for all the people who have been lost.”

The group had their first meeting for the project on June 1, in which the Kermode Friendship Centre, Terrace RCMP and the BC Government and Service Employees’ Union (BCGEU) were present. The memorial has also gained support from the National Inquiry for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and MP Nathan Cullen, with verbal support from the City of Terrace.

“The whole point of [YVC] is really to get the youth involved with the community and to learn, not just about volunteering, but how to interact with organizations,” Lecky said, who also wrote a grant on behalf of YVC to help fund the memorial.

While the location is still undetermined, the teenagers have been working diligently to find the memorial a home. The sunken garden and monument might be placed on available city-owned land, but nothing has been committed yet, according to 19-year old Hazel McDaniel, YVC team leader.

“City property in front of the superstore next to Kondolas Furniture is what has been discussed,” McDaniel said.

First fundraiser

Canadian filmmaker Matt Smiley also donated a screening of his award-winning documentary Highway of Tears for the memorial’s first fundraiser on June 9 at the REM Lee Theatre, followed with a panel discussion.

On the panel was local advocate Gladys Radek, who’s niece Tamara Chipman remains missing after 13-years, former BC Liberal candidate for the Stikine riding Wanda Good, who has been an advocate for 20 years after the disappearance of her cousin Lana Derrick, and Doug Leslie, father to 15-year-old Loren Leslie, whose body was found eight years ago in Vanderhoof, B.C.

While there were fewer than 20 people in attendance, YVC members voiced their questions to the panel to gain a better understanding of the crisis.

“I thought it was wonderful, I was really, really happy with the way that it went,” McDaniel said of the fundraising event. “I thought the panel discussion was excellent, appropriate and respectful.”

Afterwards, YVC member Elijah Stephens, 18, introduced the music video for The Highway, a ballad he helped write last year with seven other students from ‘Na Aksa Gyilak’yoo School in Kitsumkalum First Nation.

In the coming weeks, Terrace YVC will be reaching out to northwest First Nations communities and organizations like the Native Women’s Association of Canada to make sure they are aware and kept in the loop about the project.

“This is going to be a really big deal, not only for Terrace but for B.C. and hopefully for Canada as a whole to really have a monument to recognize what’s happened,” McDaniel said.

“This affects so many people in the north, and we want our whole process to emulate the seriousness of it.”


 


brittany@terracestandard.com

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Members of the Terrace Youth Volunteer Corps (YVC) went over plans for their fundraising event on June 9, which was organized to money for a permanent memorial for missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls along the Highway of Tears. (Brittany Gervais photo)

Members of the Terrace Youth Volunteer Corps (YVC) went over plans for their fundraising event on June 9, which was organized to money for a permanent memorial for missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls along the Highway of Tears. (Brittany Gervais photo)

Just Posted

Jaimie Davis won received a Northwest Community College President’s Art Award in 2018. This year, she won the Best Solopreneur Award from Small Business BC for her online shop Jada Creations. (Contributed photo/Northwest Community College)
Terrace artist wins provincial small business award

Jaimie Davis of Jada Creations won BC Small Business’ Best Solopreneur Award

Chera Bergen (left) with her sisters Hali and Dylan Ouellet (not in the picture) raised money through a bottle drive in Terrace to buy essential supplies for a homeless shelter. (Binny Paul/ Terrace Standard)
Terrace sisters’ recycle drive raises money for homeless shelter

With the $1175 raised, Chera, Hali and Dylan bought essential supplies for Ksan Society

A memorial march takes place along Highway 16 also known as Canada’s ‘Highway of Tears’ on national day of awareness of Murdered & Missing Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG). Over five dozen people from nearby communities joined the march which began outside Terrace City Hall and ended at the memorial totem pole erected along Hwy 16, near Kitsumkalum. (Binny Paul/Terrace Standard)
‘City of Terrace can and should make spaces safer’: MMIWG activists

Activists called on governments to amplify safety net for women on national day of awareness of MMIWG

RCMP are reminding the public to be aware of their surroundings after a stabbing sent a man to hospital on May 4, 2021. (Black Press Media File Photo)
Terrace stabbing sends man to hospital

RCMP remind the public to be aware of surroundings

The construction site for the new Mills Memorial Hospital has been cleared. (Binny Paul/The Terrace Standard)
Bird nests key to decision to log hospital site in Terrace

Nests would have posed a risk of increasing costs

(The Canadian Press)
Trudeau won’t say whether Canada supports patent waiver for COVID-19 vaccines

‘Canada is at the table to help find a solution’

Edmonton Oilers’ Connor McDavid (97) celebrates his 100th point this season with Leon Draisaitl (29) against the Vancouver Canucks during second period NHL action in Edmonton on Saturday, May 8, 2021.THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jason Franson
Edmonton superstar McDavid hits 100-point mark as Oilers edge Canucks 4-3

NHL scoring leader needs just 53 games to reach century mark

Nuns of Mother Teresa’s Missionaries of Charity, carry some of her relics during a vigil of prayer in preparation for the canonization of Mother Teresa in the St. John in Latheran Basilica at the Vatican, Friday, Sept. 2, 2016. In which city did she do much of her charitable work? (AP Photo/Gregorio Borgia)
QUIZ: How much do you know about these motherhood issues?

In honour of Mother’s Day, take this 10-question quiz

A map showing where the most number of cases were recorded from April 23 to 29. This map, revealing a breakdown of infections by neighborhood, was pulled from a data package leaked to the Vancouver Sun last week (and independently verified).
36 Abbotsford schools flagged for COVID-19 exposures in the last 2 weeks, shattering record

Clearbrook Elementary recorded an ‘exposure’ on all 11 school days

Canada’s chief public health officer is reminding Canadians even those who are fully vaccinated are not immune from transmitting the COVID-19. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Adrian Wyld
Canada’s top doctor warns full vaccination does not equal full protection from COVID-19

Post-inoculation, Theresa Tam says the risk of asymptomatic infection and transmission is far lower but not obsolete

The dash cam footage, taken May 7 at 8:18 a.m. belonged to the driver of a southbound vehicle that recently travelled out of the tunnel. (Reddit/Screen grab)
VIDEO: Dash cam captures dramatic rollover crash on Highway 99

Only one person sustained injuries from the collision, says B.C. Ambulance Services

Chevy stranded on a ledge above a rocky canyon at Mimi Falls near Logan Lake, April 28, 2021. (Photo credit: Margot Wikjord)
Police officer and fire chief team up in risky rescue of stranded dog near Logan Lake

Chevy, a rescue dog, needed rescuing again after getting stuck on a ledge above rocky canyon

Police were on the scene of a fatal shooting in Abbotsford. (Black Press Media files)
B.C. government to give more than $8 million for programs to curb gang violence

221 not-for-profit projects led by local governments and school districts among others will receive a one-time grant

Most Read