Tag Archives: Prince Rupert

RCMP Say Highway Of Tears Killers May Never Be Caught

RCMP continue to investigate the deaths and disappearances of 18 young women along a 720 km stretch of northern B.C. dubbed the Highway of Tears. (Contributed/RCMP)

RCMP continue to investigate the deaths and disappearances of 18 young women along a 720 km stretch of northern B.C. dubbed the Highway of Tears. (Contributed/RCMP)

“We’ve turned over every stone we can” – RCMP

CBC News Posted: Oct 17, 2016

A decade after the launch of the RCMP’s high profile Highway of Tears investigation into missing and murdered women in northern B.C., police admit they may never find the killers or make more arrests.

‘Perhaps they’ll never be solved’

“I’ve been honest with our [victims’] families and I say perhaps they’ll never be solved,” RCMP Staff Sgt. Wayne Clary of the E-PANA unit, told CBC host Anna Maria Tremonti during a townhall on missing and murdered women packed with several hundred people in Prince George Thursday night.

For a decade, E-PANA has been investigating the cold case deaths and disappearances of 18 young women along a 720 km street of northern B.C. dubbed the Highway of Tears.  PANA is an Inuit word for the god who cared for souls in the underworld.

At the height of E-PANA’s work, 70 people worked the investigation. Now, just 8 investigators are left.

“That’s the reality and that’s what I tell the families,” said Clary. “We can’t keep that going forever when there’s no work.”

Women pore over a map that marks deaths and disappearances along the Highway of Tears. (Contributed/UBCIC)

Women pore over a map that marks deaths and disappearances along the Highway of Tears. (Contributed/UBCIC)

RCMP have named 2 suspects in 4 women’s deaths

E-PANA was launched in 2006 amidst outrage over the number of deaths and disappearances of mostly Indigenous young women in northern B.C.

Indigenous leaders said 50 girls and women had been murdered or gone missing between Prince George and Prince Rupert since 1970.

E-PANA took on 18 of those cases, re-interviewing witnesses and families, following new leads and tips, and converting 700 bankers boxes of dusty police files into a searchable database.

Officers have identified a suspect in three of the murders, but that man is now dead. A different man has been charged with the death of Monica Jack, but that Highway of Tears case is still before the courts.

Still, many families are still waiting for answers and justice for their missing and murdered loved ones.

“We care and we’re trying and we’ll keep following up on the tips and interviews that come in,” said Clary.

‘These …are the toughest to investigate’

“These kinds of stranger-on-stranger investigations are the toughest to investigate,especially in this area, where it’s very isolated, it’s very lonely. A lot of these crimes happened a long time ago.  Some of our victims don’t get found, some don’t get found right away, and evidence is lost,” said Clary.

“Witnesses die. They may or may not know they had important information and [now] we’ll never retrieve it.  In some cases, some of the men who committed these crimes are dead,” said Clary.

Still, Clary says when victim’s families hold vigils or walk the Highway of Tears, the media attention often triggers a spike of tips to police.

“It’s important to keep this alive,” Clary said.

"Killer on the Loose!' is the warning on a prominent billboard beside Highway 16 in northern B.C., where numerous young women have died or disappeared. (CBC )

“Killer on the Loose!’ is the warning on a prominent billboard beside Highway 16 in northern B.C., where numerous young women have died or disappeared. (CBC )

‘I imagine 50 women missing from West Vancouver’

“It’s the people from the communities that are going to solve these crimes,” he said. “We’ve turned over every stone we can.”

“Who’s protecting our young Indigenous girls and women?” asked Mary Teegee, the Director of Child and Family Services at Carrier Sekani Family Services in Prince George. “I often imagine 50 women missing from West Vancouver. What would be the outcry? For one thing, the [death toll] would never reach that in West Vancouver.”

http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/british-columbia/rcmp-say-mmiw-highway-of-tears-missing-and-murdered-women-cases-may-never-be-solved-1.3805609

Walk For The Missing And Murdered Wraps Up In Prince Rupert

Some of the walkers complete their journey from Norway House, Manitoba to Prince Rupert.— Image Credit: Shaun Thomas Photo

Some of the walkers complete their journey from Norway House, Manitoba to Prince Rupert.— Image Credit: Shaun Thomas Photo

By Red Power Media, Staff

A group of walkers have completed their journey from Norway House, Manitoba to Prince Rupert B.C. to raise awareness for missing and murdered men and women.

The walkers arrived shortly after 3 p.m. and received a warm welcome at the Butze Rapids turnoff before being joined by several others for the final walk into Prince Rupert.

Organizers invited everyone to greet the walkers at the Butze Trail entrance before they making their way to the Friendship House.

Brenda Osborne organized the walk and started from Norway House in late July. Osborne said that walking for the missing and murdered is close to her and her family, stating that they lost a beloved cousin.

“Still today I still wait for her to come home: she used to babysit me,” Osborne said. ” I also lost an aunt and uncle and another cousin, and closer still is my daughter who went missing in 2008.”

Gathering for the Walkers:

On Thursday September 10th The Nisga’a Hall and The Friendship House is hosting a Potluck Reception at around 5pm to honour the walkers and all the missing and murdered who have been lost.

Bring Your favourite Dish.  Everyone is welcome.

First Nations Leader Calls On Former AFN Chiefs To Quit Prince Rupert Oil Project

Aboriginal leader Art Sterritt, who represents 10 coastal First Nations, has called on former AFN national leaders Shawn Atleo and Ovide Mercredi to disassociate themselves from an oil refinery proposed for Prince Rupert. Photograph by: DARRYL DYCK , THE CANADIAN PRESS

Aboriginal leader Art Sterritt, who represents 10 coastal First Nations, has called on former AFN national leaders Shawn Atleo and Ovide Mercredi to disassociate themselves from an oil refinery proposed for Prince Rupert. Photograph by: DARRYL DYCK , THE CANADIAN PRESS

By Peter O’Neil, The Vancouver Sun

Coastal First Nations warns it will go after Shawn Atleo and Ovide Mercredi for joining company that is proposing bitumen refinery

The leader of the most prominent B.C. First Nations group opposing oilsands pipelines to the north coast issued an ultimatum Wednesday to two former national aboriginal leaders.

Art Sterritt of B.C. Coastal First Nations said former Assembly of First Nations grand chiefs Shawn Atleo of B.C. and Ovide Mercredi of Manitoba should withdraw their participation in the $10-billion “world’s greenest refinery” project proposed for the Prince Rupert area.

If they don’t, Sterritt said, Coastal First Nations will launch an aggressive effort to discredit Pacific Future Energy’s project and their role in promoting it. Sterritt said his members don’t trust the company’s vow to build a project that doesn’t pose a major environmental threat.

Pacific Future, headed by Mexican businessman Samer Salameh, announced in December that Atleo would assume the role of “senior adviser, partnerships” on the company’s senior management team.

Mercredi, AFN leader from 1991 to 1997, was named a part of the company’s advisory board that already included Robert Louie, chief of the economically successful Westbank First Nation near Kelowna.

Sterritt said First Nations leaders have muted their concerns out of respect for Atleo, a member of the Nuu-chah-nulth Nation on the west coast of Vancouver Island who stepped down as AFN leader last year.

But Sterritt said the gloves will come off if he can’t meet with Atleo and Mercredi and persuade them to abandon the company.

“I’m trying to set up a meeting and say, ‘hey guys, you’ve got a chance to bail on this or we’re coming after you,’” Sterritt said in an interview.

“We can’t allow them to pacify everybody, or make people in Alberta and everywhere else think that just because they’re involved that we’re all going to roll over here.”

Neither Atleo nor Mercredi would be made available for comment, said Pacific Future spokesman Mark Marissen.

“The site has not yet been determined, but suffice it to say that Pacific Future Energy will only go where we are welcomed,” he added. “We have had many constructive discussions with First Nations to date.”

Pacific Energy says it plans to build the world’s greenest and cleanest refinery, with “near net zero” carbon emissions, partly through the use of natural gas and renewable energy to power the facility.

The company plans to process 200,000 barrels of bitumen crude a day, a total that could be moved to Prince Rupert by rail, according to Marissen.

The company plans to ship refined products like gasoline and diesel to Asia, a step that will remove the threat of a devastating spill involving heavy diluted bitumen.

The refinery will “turn this bitumen into refined products like diesel and gasoline. In the case of a spill, these products float on top of water and evaporate,” the company states.

Atleo was at times outspoken as AFN leader in criticizing efforts to get Alberta’s bitumen to the B.C. coast for export to Asia-Pacific markets.

“The vast majority of First Nations that are impacted directly (by the projects) are giving expression to their opposition,” he said at a 2012 B.C. rally against the proposed Enbridge pipeline to Kitimat and the Kinder Morgan plan to twin its pipeline to Burnaby. “That’s my responsibility, to stand with them, and I will do so firmly.”

Atleo, in addition to his role with Pacific Energy, was named in October by Premier Christy Clark to lead talks between the government, First Nations and the business community on B.C.’s economic future.

http://friendsofwildsalmon.ca/news/article/first_nations_leader_calls_on_former_afn_chiefs_to_quit_prince_rupert_oil_p