A vigil was held Saturday morning to honour Kevin “Bear” Henry as the search for the missing Two-Spirit 37-year-old continues.
Henry is an Indigenous Coast Salish person of the Penelakut Tribe and a known Fairy Creek advocate who uses they/them pronouns – they were last heard from 42 days ago on Nov. 27, and were reported missing to the Victoria Police Department on Dec. 11.
“The system has failed to release government search and rescue teams, and it’s upsetting but it is not unfamiliar to me,” said aunt Rose Henry at the Jan. 8 vigil.
“This is a shining example of a system that has failed thousands of missing and murdered Indigenous people and now Bear is a part of that growing number of people,” she told Black Press Media.
A GoFundMe started by friends and family – sitting at $17,073 as of Jan. 8 – aims to raise a total of $20,000 to help hire private search-and-rescue (SAR) teams.
“I’m so grateful for the friends and family who have helped in the search – I’ve been waiting by the phone for Bear to call me – it’s been so painful and I just want (them) to come home,” said mother Eileen Henry.
Henry was last heard from in Lake Cowichan when they were on their way to Fairy Creek in their 1980 Dodge Royal camper van, with BC licence plate NB2 06H.
Henry’s van is brown and beige and has distinctive features such as phrases like “Land Back” in black spray paint.
They are described as 6’3” weighing approximately 300 pounds. They have short brown hair and green eyes and often wear skirts and leggings.
To donate to the search effort visit the Bring Bear Home! GoFundMe page.
Public online materials are available for those who want to become involved in search efforts.
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