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Man walks from Takla Landing to Burns Lake to raise awareness for MMIWG

Clarence Abraham from Takla Nation will cover 400 kilometres along Highway 16 on his walk

Clarence Abraham, a 55-year-old from Takla Nation, has embarked on a 400 kilometre journey from his hometown to Burns Lake, along Highway 16, known infamously as the Highway of Tears. 
His mission is to raise awareness for the missing and murdered individuals along this stretch and across the province.
Beginning his trek at 4 a.m. on June 14, Abraham had already covered approximately 195 kilometres by the time he reached Fort St. James on June 17.

His arrival in Fort St. James was met with a heartfelt reception, as 85 supporters, including 30 drummers, gathered in Spirit Square.  The community received Abraham beside a tree adorned with the names of people who have been murdered or are missing from Fort St. James and surrounding areas.
“We want to ensure his journey is supported with love and encouragement,” said Ruby Prince, one of the drummers in attendance.
Joined by fellow community members along various points of the highway, Abraham shared that this cause is deeply personal. 
He lost two women from his family – his cousin Carmelita Abraham, who went missing from Williams Lake in late December 2021 and was found deceased in January 2022, and another cousin, Norma George, whose life ended tragically in Vancouver in 1992.

After hearing discussions about Missing & Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG) repeatedly, Abraham said he felt compelled to act. That is why he decided to undertake this journey following his time in a treatment and recovery centre.
“I didn’t anticipate how tough it would be, but I will continue to walk until I can no longer walk,” he said. 
Abraham spoke about several girls from northern B.C. that went missing, including Madison Scott whose remains were found in Vanderhoof in May 2023,  12 years after she went missing from the area.
“This is for those women who are voiceless,” he said, adding, “I'll keep doing this for them, to give them a voice.”
Abraham said people from all backgrounds are welcome to join him on the walk.
“It's a journey that everyone, including non-Indigenous people, can appreciate. It's about honouring women, mothers, and daughters.” 
His goal is not only to raise awareness but also to keep the memory of the missing and murdered alive in the community’s consciousness. 
Abraham encourages people to engage in respectful dialogue and actions without causing offence, offering comfort instead.
“Many families are still searching for answers,” he said. “Some children grow up without their mothers. I hope this effort brings some closure.”
Having camped overnight in Vanderhoof, Abraham plans to resume his walk on June 18, continuing toward Burns Lake later in the day. Although this is his first long-distance trek, he intends to make it an annual tradition.

About the Author: Binny Paul

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