Bear Henry, who has ties to Salt Spring and the Fairy Creek old-growth logging action, has not been heard from or seen for two months.
Last heard from on Nov. 27, Henry was reported missing on Dec. 11 and family and police continue to search for them and their van.
“They are a genderqueer, two spirit, 37-year-old Indigenous person,” a missing persons poster created by family members states. Henry is described as being 6 feet 2 inches tall, weighing 300 pounds with a darker complexion and green eyes.
Henry drives a brown and beige 1980 Dodge Royal camper van with B.C. licence plate NB206H, which was spotted on Nov. 27 in Lake Cowichan and later at the Gordon River main forest service road’s kilometre zero near the Honeymoon Bay Ecological Centre. The van also has spray paint and phrases such as “Land Back” painted in black on it.
A GoFundMe online fundraiser states that Henry was heading to Port Renfrew and had stopped behind a Lake Cowichan Lordco auto parts store overnight.
“In the last message we received they said someone had been knocking on their van and they were afraid they were being stalked,” the fundraising page stated.
Police say they have conducted recent flights over areas where they believe Henry may have travelled, locating neither Henry or their vehicle.
“Extensive physical and investigative searches have been completed and the Lake Cowichan RCMP continue to follow up on tips received,” Lake Cowichan RCMP Corp. David Motley stated in a Jan. 28 news release.
A former contact of Henry’s confirmed on the GoFundMe page that Henry is a former Salt Spring resident and a member of the Penelakut tribe. Penelakut traditional territory encompasses the Southern Gulf Islands and stretches into a large part of southern Vancouver Island. Henry is also connected to the ongoing Fairy Creek old-growth logging blockade and investigators believe they may have travelled to the blockade area.
Henry is not the only Fairy Creek activist missing. Gerald “Smiley” Kearny, 61, has not been seen since Oct. 13. A website dedicated to news about the blockade noted Kearney was last seen leaving the blockade’s ridge camp and planning to hike the two hours down to heli camp. Kearny is described as a five foot, four inch-tall caucasian male, weighing 210 pounds with shoulder length grey hair.
RCMP are treating Henry and Kearny’s cases as solely missing persons investigations and “there have been no indications of anything indicating foul play or suspicious circumstances,” RCMP media relations person Sgt. Chris Manseau stated.
There is also no evidence that the two disappearances are linked, Manseau added.
Anyone with information on Henry or Kearny’s whereabouts is urged to contact the Lake Cowichan RCMP detachment at 250-749-6668.