The mother and sister of Aielah Saric-Auger the 14-year-old Prince George girl whose body was found on Highway 16 near the Tabor Mountain turnoff east of Prince George in February 2006 are embarking on a 760 km spiritual healing walk from Prince George to Gift Lake Metis Settlement in Alberta where Saric-Auger’s body is interred.
Audrey Auger and her daughter Kyla will begin their trek on Aug. 1 and plan to finish by the end of September or mid-October.
“When I buried my daughter, I buried myself… I need to find myself and this is where I shall start my journey,” Auger wrote in a press release. “Now I find myself facing the most difficult time in admitting that my little girl is really gone, and I must start healing somewhere. So that’s why I have chosen the highway as my healing journey in life.”
Saric-Auger was the latest young woman to disappear or be murdered along Highway 16 dubbed the Highway of Tears.
“It’s an honour to walk in dedication and remembrance of our missing and lost young women and therefore this healing walk is not only to find myself, but also to give awareness to the communities along the highways and nation wide.”
The pair’s route will take them along Highway 97 to Dawson Creek, B.C., then on Highway 49 to High Prairie, Alta. before following Highway 2 and Highway 750 to Gift Lake. They will be camping on the side of the road as they walk.
“Our plans are to walk from sun up to sun down, with the help of our creator,” she said. “We are aware of the obstacles we may face spiritually, physically, mentally and emotionally along the way.”
Auger said her daughter’s disappearance and death was compounded by a series of tragedies. Two weeks before Saric-Auger’s disappearance, her younger sister was rushed by air ambulance to Vancouver Children’s Hospital.
Auger’s husband, Sheldon, had been deported earlier that year and in July her daughter’s mother-in-law died and grandson nearly died. She went through severe depression, addiction and homelessness before he family convinced her to go to detox treatment and, “wake me up and shake me into reality.”
“So through these experiences of near loss and grieving, I gave up on life itself especially with my baby girl being torn out of my arms,” she said.
They are seeking donations of camping gear, food and cleansing herbs and looking for volunteer support drivers to follow them along the way.
For more information or to make a donation, contact Tamara deBalinhard at the Youth Around Prince George Resource Centre at 250-565-6298, 1160 Seventh Ave. Prince George.