Man and His Dog Walking Highway of Tears
Prince George, B.C. – A Kimberley man is doing what he can to raise awareness about missing and murdered aboriginal women.
Brett Merchant is walking the entire length (1236 km) of Highway 16, better known as the Highway of Tears, from the B.C. border to Haida Gwaii. He started his trek September 1st.
“I am doing this to raise awareness for the women that have lost their lives and the ones still missing,” he said during a pit stop in Prince George this week. “Everybody’s exactly the same. We’ve whacked them down to the ground through colonialism and it’s hard for them to get back up.”
Merchant says he’s embarked on the walk now while he still has the capacity to do so.
“I am facing significant health issues. I have SLE lupus, early onset dementia and diabetes and am very aware that I have a limited time in which I will be physically able to make a difference in the world.”
He says his goal is to arrive in Old Massett on Haida Gwaii, the end of Highway 16, by December 31st.
Merchant has set up a gofundme page for those who would like to donate to his cause. He plans to put the money towards a new aboriginal women’s shelter.
Merchant has brought his dog along for the journey – Kura – a half Siberian Husky and half wolf.
“I need a companion. I always have a dog.” No fancy hotel stays for these two though – he says he plans to pitch a tent at the side of the highway and stay in the odd campground the entire way.