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Justice (25-42)

Woman from First Nation in B.C. along Highway of Tears found dead

November 7, 2023

Chelsey Quaw, who was reported missing on Oct. 11, have been found in a wooded area.

APTN News: A woman who disappeared from a First Nations community in central British Columbia last month has been found dead.

Vanderhoof RCMP and the Saik’uz First Nation say the remains of Chelsey Quaw, who was first reported missing on Oct. 11, were found in a wooded area on the community’s territory.

“Chelsey had the most amazing spirit, beautiful strength and independence. Most importantly, she had an incredible impact on those in her life. We will not rest until we get answers,” said Pam Heron, Chelsey’s mother in a statement shared on the Saik’uz First Nation and Carrier Sekani Family Services website.

Quaw was one of two community members missing from the First Nation this year— located 100 km west of Prince George along Hwy 16. Police say the BC Coroners Service is investigating the cause of death, and no further details on the case are available at this time.

The family also reminded the public that Jay Preston Raphael, who went missing in February has still not been found.

The stretch of highway between Prince George and Prince Rupert is known as the Highway of Tears after dozens have vanished or been killed along it over several decades. In total, more than 40 women and girls are associated with disappearances along the 700-km stretch of highway.

The missing include Alberta Williams, who was 27 when she disappeared in 1989. “We are calling for more volunteers and resources to help increase search efforts,” Saik’uz First Nation Chief Priscilla Mueller and the advocacy group Highway of Tears Governing Body said in a joint statement.

The Highway of Tears organization was formed in 2006 in response to a series of cases of women and girls, many Indigenous, who had either gone missing or been killed along the highway.

The formation of the governing body was one of the 33 recommendations that came from the 2006 Highway of Tears Symposium Recommendations Report, which called for various measures to improve safety in the area.


Danielle Paradis,

With files from the Canadian Press