Krista Fox, from North Battleford Sask., is walking across Canada to raise public awareness of missing and murdered Indigenous Women. She’s expected to walk through Red Deer on Friday. (Image from GoFundMe).

Krista Fox, from North Battleford Sask., is walking across Canada to raise public awareness of missing and murdered Indigenous Women. She’s expected to walk through Red Deer on Friday. (Image from GoFundMe).

A cross-country trek for murdered, missing Indigenous women arrives in central Alberta

Krista Fox is walking for her missing friend and hundreds of other victims

Krista Fox was walking between Olds and Innisfail on Thursday on a cross-country trek to raise awareness about missing and murdered aboriginal women.

Fox started walking from Victoria, B.C. on Feb. 18 and plans to reach St. John’s, Nfld. by December. According to her Facebook page, Krista’s Kilometres for MMIW, it will be a 10-month journey to spread the word about violence against Indigenous women — and “to help bring people together.”

Earlier in February, she had “unofficially” journeyed from Prince George to Smithers and Terrace, along Hwy 16, also known as the “Highway of Tears,” described as the epicentre of the MMIW campaign.

Dozens of women have vanished along this highway, which is now bordered by billboards with photos of the missing and signs stating “killer on the loose” and “girls don’t hitchhike.”

Most of these cases remain unsolved — including that of Red Deer’s Nicole Hoar.

Hoar was a 25-year-old tree planter, last seen at a gas station outside of Prince George in 2002. It’s believed she was hitchhiking from Prince George to visit her sister in the interior of B.C. when she disappeared along Hwy 16.

While Hoar was Caucasian, most of the Highway of Tears victims identified by police were indigenous.

According to an RCMP report, 1,017 Indigenous women and girls were murdered between 1980 and 2012 in Canada, a homicide rate 4.5 times higher than other women. At least 105 Indigenous women were also reported missing during that time — and some native groups believes the actual numbers are much higher.

Fox has made stops along the route to read out the names of missing or murdered Indigenous people, (including some men). At the start of her journey, her list included more than 44 names, topped by that over her friend Ashley Nicole Morin, 31, who went missing in 2018.

According to the GoFundMe campaign started to recoup expenses for Fox’s walk, it will cost $11.75 for every kilometre, so Canadians are invited to sponsor as many kilometres as they want.

Fox, a North Battleford, Sask. resident, had to purchase a motor home and take a 10-month leave of absence from work. She has trained for the long trek ahead, on which she will be accompanied by the mother and sister of her missing friend, Morin.

“Krista stands in solidarity with all the families of MMIW in Canada… if she comes to your community, please join her for a few kilometres. Your support would mean so much to her, and give her energy on this long journey,” states Eden Fineday Patten, who started the fundraiser.

So far, $27,923 has been raised towards a goal of $100,000.

Fox is expected to make it to Red Deer on Friday.



lmichelin@reddeeradvocate.com

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