Pillars of Hope & Strength
They were daughters, sisters, aunties and friends. More than 40 Indigenous women and girls have been found murdered or gone missing along northern BC’s Highway 16, also known as the Highway of Tears.
Despite the decades that this has continued, there is still a fundamental need to raise awareness about the victims, as well as to prevent future violence against Indigenous women and girls.
The Governing Body of the Highway of Tears and Carrier Sekani Family Services are leading the creation and installation of two carved pillars to commemorate the women and children, and honour their families. The pillars will serve as important markers of awareness and peaceful visiting places for rest and remembrance for the families and the broader community.
Each pillar will be made up of four red cedar panels carved by Indigenous artists from throughout northern BC. The contributing artists, the exact pillar locations, and the unveiling timeline will be announced in the summer of 2022.
The Pillar of Hope
The pillar in Prince George will be named the Pillar of Hope.
The location will be chosen together with the Governing Body of the Highway of Tears, the Lheidli T’enneh First Nation and the City of Prince George.
The Pillar of Strength
The pillar in Prince Rupert will be named the Pillar of Strength.
The location will be chosen together with the Governing Body of the Highway of Tears, the Metlakatla and Lax Kw’alaams First Nations and the City of Prince Rupert.
A Ceremony of Remembrance & Awareness
The pillars will be unveiled with a traditional “Letting Go” Ceremony to honour and commemorate the lives of those who have been lost or are missing. The ceremony will extend over a number of days, involving contributors and Nations along Highway 16.
The project is also being filmed by local Indigenous videographers to produce a short documentary that captures the care, process and intention involved in each step of the pillars’ creation.
News and Events
Open call for carvers to be involved in the Pillars of Hope & Strength
We will soon be seeking Indigenous artists from across northern B.C. to submit their design ideas for one of the panels for the Pillars of Hope & Strength. Stay tuned! An updated project briefing and timeline will be available in the coming weeks.
June 22, 2022
National Day of Awareness and Action for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls and Gender diverse people
May 5, 2022
Partners & Funding
This project was made possible, in part, through the generous funding of Indigenous Services Canada.
Rogers Canada has also made a generous funding commitment.
To become a project sponsor, or to get involved, please email us at MMIWG@csfs.org.
Support the creation of the pillars and the lasting difference they will make. Click the donate button and select “Pillars of Hope & Strength” from the dropdown.
All media inquiries can be directed to Andrea Palmer, Director of Communications at firstname.lastname@example.org.