MMIWG families and advocates welcomed Krista Fox with drum, song and ceremony at MMIWG memorial pole located on Hwy 16 near Kitsumkalum, B.C.
Fox is a North Battleford, Sask. mother and grandmother who is preparing to walk 10,400 km from Victoria B.C., to St. John’s, Nfld. to raise awareness for murdered and missing Indigenous women and girls.
On Feb 5, she said she had an emotional journey from Prince to Terrace, B.C., partially walking the Highway of Tears, the notorious name given to Hwy 16 because of the high number of Indigenous people missing there since the 1970s.
In an interview with APTN News, Fox says she had a powerful experience walking with the family of Frances Brown, who went missing in 2017 near Smithers.
“It was an amazing experience, we walked and held arms, and we connected arms, and it was like I felt him, I felt his pain, he misses his mom so much,” she said.
Frances Brown is from Witset First Nation and is still missing.
In 2018, Fox’s friend Ashley Morin from Ahtahkakoop Cree Nation went missing in North Battleford. Morin is still missing today.
After her friend disappeared, Fox started talking about missing or murdered Indigenous women including students.
She uses Facebook and Tiktok to raise awareness.
Fox’s official walk begins on Feb. 18 – her birthday.
She plans to carry all the emotions from meeting with the families on her journey.
She will meet more families on the 10-month walk across the country.
“I will take all these thoughts and feelings and pain and everything with me as I go along my journey,” she said.
In Kitsumkalum, MMIWG advocate Gladys Radek and other local Indigenous groups such as Matriarchs in Training, Tears for Hope Society, and Indian Residential School Survivor Society met with Fox.
Radek completed a walk from from B.C. to Ottawa raising awareness in 2008.
She was also one of the key people behind the raising on the memorial pole on Hwy 16.
“I wanted to build a totem pole along the highway of tears to remind people that girls and men are missing on this highway,” Radek tells Fox as they gather in a circle below the pole.
Fox hopes to meet with policymakers for Indigenous matters and create change together on her journey across Canada.
“This is a genocide, this is our missing and murdered Indigenous, women, men, children, and this has to stop, “ she stated.
Fox said one of the common topics in talking with families is the lack of resources.
She added this came up in talking with the family of Frances Brown.
“He wants to go out there and look for his mother himself, and that breaks my heart,’ she said.
She says people often ask her what they can do to support MMIWG families, she encourages them to keep showing up.
“I always say half of the battle is showing up, so I would just like people to keep showing up, keep supporting the families in your community, keep asking questions, keep sharing on social media whatever the case may be, nothing feels better than knowing that somebody cares,” she said.
Krista Fox’s walk across Canada for MMIWG can be tracked on her social media page.