A well-attended vigil was held on Saturday night to mark 20 years since 19 year old Lana Derrick went missing.
She was last seen October 7, 1995 at a Petro-Canada gas station just east of Terrace on Highway 16, which is also known as the Highway of Tears for the many women and girls who have become victims of violence along the corridor.
Addressing the crowd as Lana’s mother, Marge Haugan held his arm, Lana’s step-father, Darvin Haugan, spoke of when Lana and her mother first moved in with him.
Then only nine years old, she had gone to her mother, asking if she could call him “dad.”
Haugan says despite the 20 years since she disappeared, and accepting that he’ll never see Lana again, the family hasn’t had any closure and continues to feel the pain.
Wanda Good organized the vigil, she’s also Lana’s cousin.
She says Lana’s father, John Derrick couldn’t make the vigil because he still can’t talk about losing his daughter.
Good says 20 years after Lana disappeared, Aboriginal women continue to be targets of violence.
She says a national inquiry into missing and murdered indigenous women would be one way to send a message that Aboriginal women matter.
Also at the vigil was Staff Sergeant Wayne Clary of the RCMP’s Highway of Tears E-PANA team.
He says, even after 20 years, there’s still hope for a resolution.
He points to the case of Monica Jack and Kathryn-Mary Herbert.
Kathryn was murdered in 1975 when she was 11 years old, and Monica when she was 12 in 1978.
Last December, Garry Taylor Handlen was charged with their murders.
He says, as much as parents want closure, so do the police officers who investigate these cases.
Clary says they still want people to come forward if they have any information, saying that by itself it might not seem important, but together with their investigation, it could lead to a major break.
Wanda Good echoes that sentiment, saying that given how many women and girls have gone missing along the Highway of Tears, chances are people know someone or something.
The night’s vigil also honoured Alberta Williams, whose 1989 murder case remains unsolved.
Both Lana and Alberta were from Gitanyow.