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Advocacy & Accountability
30 Days of Justice2011OttawaON30 Days of Justice brings together families of missing and murdered Aboriginal women, grassroots Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal women and men, and the wider Ottawa community to raise critical awareness, support Aboriginal families affected by violence, and demand justice and accountability in the disappearances and murders of Aboriginal women and girls. This is a series of events and actions designed to raise awareness and demand action to end violence against Indigenous women.
Aboriginal Women's Action Network 1995CanadaCDAWAN was established in 1995 in response to a pressing need for an Aboriginal women’s group to provide a much needed voice for Aboriginal women’s concerns regarding governance, policy making, women’s rights, employment rights, violence against women, Indian Act membership and status, and many other issues affecting Aboriginal women in contemporary society. The founding members of AWAN conceived of themselves as salmon swimming upstream with determined vision to create new life, and therefore, renewed hope and possibilities for our children. For members of AWAN the Salmon Nation’s legacy of survival depends on an unwavering commitment to future generations, a commitment which serves to guide AWAN in our political involvement and quest for social justice for Aboriginal women and children.
Convoy2020EdmontonABA convoy travelled from Edmonton's Borden Park to the Alberta Legislature Wednesday, marking the one-year anniversary — and an absence of action since then — of a report that offered more than 200 recommendations relating to murdered and missing Indigenous women in Canada.
Cree8 Calgary2008CalgaryABOrganizer of annual Feb 14 March in Calgary. She drums and speaks at various events to raise awareness for MMIWG. Cree8 Calgary focuses on empowering individuals by helping them in connecting with Aboriginal culture, taking personal responsibility for their own healing through song, drum and sharing. We aim to share our learnings in a good way, with kindness and respect, humility and appreciation, truth and honesty, love and peace.
Downton Eastside Women's Community1983VancouverBCCarol Muree Martin, a member of the Nisgaa Nation, has been working in the Downtown Eastside women’s community for over 34 years. One of the main organizers of the annual Women’s Memorial March held in February, Martin has been speaking up for Indigenous women’s rights her whole life. She has never had the choice in whether or not to be an “activist,” saying she supports what she knows is right: speaking up about murdered and missing Indigenous women that she knows and loves and wants to bring home. I believe that racism and genocide is at the root of the ongoing epidemic of missing and murdered women and girls.
Families First: A Made in Manitoba Approach to Addressing the Issue of M MIWG2015ManitobaMBThe Assembly of Manitoba Chiefs and Manitoba Grand Chief Derek Nepinak adopted this new approach because they were unwilling to continue waiting for more roundtables or inquiries by the federal and provincial governments. The new approach takes a more culturally sensitive approach when dealing with families of MMIWG. Eight representatives will be chosen as Families First Representatives.
Families of Sisters in Spirit2011OttawaONFSIS is all-volunteer, grassroots, unfunded group of families of missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls, and Two-Spirit people and ally-friends. They have hosted two events per year to honour MMIWG2S and families (Feb 14 and Oct 4). In previous years, we have hosted rallies and vigils on Parliament Hill, and in more recent years vigils, rallies, community feasts, giveaways, youth powwow amd have emphasized holiday fundraising campaign for families. D
Feathers for Our Women2017TorontoONFeathers for Our Women: Honouring the Lives of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls, Transgender and Two-Spirit Peoples (MMIWGT2S) is a Canada-wide outreach initiative aimed towards youths to raise awareness about MMIWGT2S and violence prevention education in communities. People all across Canada are invited to make paper feathers, which Cree artist Waylon Goodwin will craft into mobiles, each feather representing a life of a MMIWGT2S.
I Stand #InUnity2017GuelphONI Stand #InUnity stimulates critical thought about Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women in Canada (#MMIW) by transforming government statistics into embodied data. The resulting visuals allow viewers at many different education levels to better understand the scale of human loss in Indigenous communities. University of Guelph
Indian Homemaker's Association (IHA)1969ChehalisBCThe Indian Homemakers’ Association (IHA) of B.C. was a non-profit organization made up of Indian women in order to improve the living conditions within First Nations communities, including providing adequate facilities on reserves, facilitating training programs, fighting discrimination, promoting equality and establishing political recognition for women and Aboriginal peoples. (dissolved early 2000s). The IHA became one of the only First Nations organizations in Canada that had successfully managed to unite First Nations province-wide. This inspired organizations such as the National Indian Brotherhood (now the Assembly of First Nations) of which Dr Rose Charlie was a founding member, as well as the Native Women’s Association of Canada. Not long after, Indian Rights for Indian Women was also formed with Dr Charlie’s guidance, based upon the structure of the IHA.
Iskwewuk E-wichiwitochik (Women Walking Together)2005SaskatoonSKIskwewuk E-wichiwitochik (Women Walking Together) is a grassroots network of activists established in Saskatchewan in 2005 to raise awareness about the human rights crisis of missing and murdered Indigenous women. Iskwewuk members provide moral and direct support to family members of missing and murdered Indigenous women and collaborate with organizations working on violence prevention. Each year Iskwewuk organizes a Sisters in Spirit vigil on October 4th in Saskatoon, in addition to awareness-raising walks and other events to raise the public profile of violence against Indigenous women. To create awareness, and keep the memory alive, of missing or murdered Aboriginal women through providing moral and direct support, increasing awareness in the political forum and working with other organizations and programs that are concerned with prevention of violence against women.
Justice for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women2009MontrealQCJustice for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women is a grassroots solidarity collective that works to raise awareness about violence and discrimination against Indigenous women living in Quebec. The collective seeks to consult and collaborate with Indigenous communities and organizations to foster understanding and dispel harmful stereotypes commonly held in regards to Indigenous women who are targets of violence.
Justice InititivesEdmontonABThe Institute for the Advancement of Aboriginal Women (IAAW) is a non-profit organization based out of Edmonton with chapters throughout the province that recognizes the role, value, and achievements of Aboriginal women in society and raises awareness about the challenges and obstacles faced by Aboriginal Women.
Native Youth Sexual Health Network2013TorontoONInvolved in advocacy, outreach and community mobilization in schools and communities. Workshops and teach-ins ensure culturally safe sex education, violence prevention, harm reduction, reclaiming rites of passage and many more.
Missing JusticeMontrealQCMissing Justice is a Montreal-based grassroots collective that fights in solidarity with Indigenous families, activists, communities, and organizations to achieve justice for missing and murdered Indigenous women living in “Quebec” and the rest of “Canada.” Missing Justice seeks to promote community awareness and political action through popular education, direct action, and coalition-building, all of these in consultation with and in support of First Nations families, activists, communities and organizations. As a solidarity collective, we strive to support and reiterate demands already made by Indigenous activists, the families of victims, Native organizations, and international bodies including the UN and Amnesty International. Our demands include a public investigation, adequate funding for research, support for Native-run women’s centres and shelters, and anti-oppression training for police.
MMIWG Advocacy2020VernonBCJune 3, 2020, marked the one year anniversary of the release of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG)-- and the federal government has postponed the release of its action plan that was supposed to be completed by now. Meagan Louis is an advocate of MMIWG. She says taking action is vital and can be something as simple as sharing a picture and story of someone who is missing on Facebook, taking part in a vigil or holding your local police department accountable.
No More Silence2006TorontoONNo More Silence aims to develop an inter/national network to support the work being done by activists, academics, researchers, agencies and communities to stop the murders and disappearances of Indigenous women
Sisters of Our Spirit National Gathering2015EdmontonABThe Gathering is guided by a Steering Committee, Advisory Council and Elder Council that will bring together community members, experts, dignitaries, elders and leaders to implement a grassroots action plan by sharing experiences and bringing solutions to this national crisis.  Throughout the Gathering, sessions will be offered throughout the two-day event with the following themes: Transforming the Past in the Present; Creating a Culture of Respect and Equality, Minimizing Risk with Focus on Prevention, Community Mobilization, and Dialoguing Solutions with Action Planning.
Stolen Sisters & Brothers Awareness Movement2007Mikisew CreeABCreated by Family Members & Survivors of MMIWGMB, the SSBAM is an entirely Grassroots movement and therefore is not funded nor seeks any type of funding from government, businesses or individuals. The SSBAM mission is to raise awareness (not money) and to support fellow families, survivors and related social justice groups though continued advocacy. The SSBAM vision is to ultimately find justice for the many, many victims and their families and ultimately help stop/prevent this growing epidemic from reoccurring.
The Men's Banner Project2007WinnipegMBThe Men’s Banner Project is a combination of social artistry, performance and installation created in response to the thousands of missing and murdered Indigenous women in North America and the ongoing epidemic issue of violence against women. I create banners covered in the handprints of men who promise never to use their hands for violence against women nor ignore or tolerate the violence they witness. The Men’s Banner is a site-specific installation that reclaims space in an Indigenous way. I photograph the progression and document the community’s interaction and reaction to the art piece. The banner is a tool to begin dialogue, show support and build a stronger community through art.
Violence No More (Justice for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women)2016St. John's NFLNFA discussion on how to hold the government accountable for the Inquiry, and strengthen community based responses to violence against Indigenous women, girls, trans, and two spirits. Names of presenters and participants are on Facebook event page.
Women Warriors2015Fort St. JohnBCConnie Greyeyes is a grassroots activist from Fort St. John, a small community in northeastern British Columbia. She volunteers with the Fort St. John Women’s Resource Society, started the Women Warriors support group for families of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls, and she is one of the founders of the Fort St. John Sisters in Spirit vigil.
Yukon Sisters in Spirit Campaign 2010WhitehorseYKThe Yukon Sisters in Spirit Project was launched in 2010 to research and document the cases of MMIWG in Yukon and northern BC. By using a collaborative approach with family and community members and the RCMP, 33 new cases were identified, bringing the total number of MMIWG cases to 38. This Project has created a safe space for families of MMIWG to talk about and account for the circumstances surrounding the death and disappearance of their loved ones. Today, YAWC works closely with YG’s Family Information Liaison Unit and the RCMP for ongoing support in research on MMIWG cases, advocacy, outreach, and on-the-land healing.
#InUnity2017GuelphONIn Unity is a community art intiative taking place at the University of Guelph. It is designed to bring awareness to #MMIW. On 19 October, registered participants will stand, in unity, to show that they have heard Indigenous calls to action. Aerial photographs will be taken of the participants. Together, participants will form a medicine wheel. They will be provided with umbrellas in one of four colours: yellow, red, black, or white. These colours represent the four directions: east, south, west, and north. Colours have been selected to suggest that individuals across the globe have a role to play in advocating against violence. To stimulate meaningful change, to build safer communities for Indigenous women, we must universally recognize Indigenous women as valuable members of society.
All My Sisters, All Our Sisters - 2019 Charity Box2019VancouverBCThe missing and murdered Indigenous women (MMIW) epidemic is an issue currently affecting Indigenous people in Canada and the United States. It is reported that well over 1000 women were murdered and many still missing over the last 30 years. I was moved to create this piece in honor and recognition of the outrage, anger and sorrow that I feel and that we may all feel collectively, as we grieve for our stolen sisters. Steve Smith (Dla'kwagila)
Art After Dark (Sisters in Spirit)2018CharlottetownPEIIndigenous women complete paintings of a woodland scene with red dresses hanging from trees. When they are finished they will become part of the 13th annual Sisters in Spirit vigil, along with nine real dresses symbolizing the different roles of women. Each of the real red dresses has a sash with the words either Grandmother, Mother, Wife, Daughter, etc. on them to represent the different roles women can play throughout their lives.
Artists Against Racism2019CanadaCDOver the course of the week, Indigenous artists' work dedicated to raising awareness of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls is going up on billboards in cities across Canada. The campaign features the work of 11 Indigenous artists on 12 billboards in cities like Vancouver, Toronto, Winnipeg, and Halifax.
Banner Installation in Allan Gardens2018TorontoONThe 13 installations will honour Grandmother Moon as the leader of feminine life and to honour those who have experienced violence or assault with Grandmother Moon offering healing and balance to their lives. The installations will provide a platform for artists to share their work and collaboratively design banners that represent, honour and intervention to all Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women while engaging the community in healing and gathering through execution and observance of the banners.
Beaded Hearts Project2017YellowknifeNWTPeople across the North are encouraged to make a felt heart and send it to the women's association for inclusion into a tapestry that will be unveiled at the next Sisters in Spirit Walk in October. "To talk about it, I think brings a sense of relief for the moment," said Meyer. "When we talk about it, we keep her memories alive most importantly.
Beaded Jingle Dress Dancer Medallion2019WinnipegMBMish Daniels, a member of Sagkeeng First Nation who was born and raised in Winnipeg, makes beaded necklace medallions and recently sold a custom-designed red jingle dress dancer medallion to a customer in British Columbia. Just a few days later, Whoopi Goldberg was wearing that same necklace on The View. The customer, Connie Greyeyes, had asked for a custom necklace made with red beads to show support for the missing and murdered Indigenous women in British Columbia.
Blanket of Hope2015Nipissing FNONThe Blanket of Hope is covered with donated earrings to represent MMIWG. The collection of 1,181 single earrings will be pinned to a pink Pendleton blanket to be housed in the Anishinabek Nation offices at Nipissing First Nation, near North Bay. Jody Cotter is the HIV/AIDS Coordinator for the Union of Ontario Indians (UOI). Cotter explained that the staff at UOI was looking for an artistic and creative way to honour missing and murdered Indigenous women, and to help spread awareness on the issue.
Cannupa Hanska Luger: Every One & Kali Spitzer: Sister2019TorontoONJacqueline Hines, Niibin (Tianna Fillo), E Naad Maa Get (Branden Emmerson), Chippewas of Nawash First Natio; Jasmine Maytwayashing, Creedence McComb
Dignity2016WinnipegMBA Winnipeg photographer has used a 175-year-old photo technique to capture the strength of Manitoba's Indigenous women and girls. Adasking photographed 20 Indigenous women and girls who had loved ones who had either been murdered or gone missing. He worked on the project with NDP MLA Nahanni Fontaine.
Disposable Red Woman2017CalgaryABFrom a distance you see a wrapped-up cloth laid on the street. Underneath it is an Indigenous blanket. You look closely and the cloth seems to indicate the shape of a woman’s body. There seems to be red markings that look like blood on the cloth. As a social experiment, the artists of this guerrilla art display placed the piece on various streets in Calgary, Canada and started filming the public’s reactions. This art piece questions our lack of responsibility and urgency about Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls, Trans & Two-Spirits in Canada. The artists of this project hope to evoke empathy and a sense of urgency in society to intervene with this injustice.
Dreamcatcher2014HalifaxNSHalifax community members gathered on Wednesday to weave a 10-foot dream catcher to honour missing and murdered aboriginal women. They’re making 824 small dream catchers to hang off the large one, each of those representing one of the aboriginal women currently missing in Canada. The purple ribbon on these dream catchers represents the missing woman, and the black bead represents the mourning of that woman.
End of the Road2020OshawaONLyrics and artwork for the song, "End of the Road" by Crown Land.
Every One: Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls, Queer and Trans People Bead Project2018Standing Rock ReservationCD & USComposed of over 4000 individual handmade clay beads created by hundreds of communities across the so called U.S. and Canada. Every One re-humanizes the data of missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls, queer and trans community members. Each bead represents an individual from our Indigenous communities we have lost.
Faceless Dolls Project (formerly Aborginal Angel Doll Project)2012CanadaCDNWAC contacted artist Gloria Larocque, creator of the “Aboriginal Angel Doll Project” to explore the possibility of a similar project that would carry forward the visual representation of strong and beautiful Aboriginal women who have become ‘faceless’ victims of crime. This collaboration resulted in NWAC’s Faceless Doll Project, called “each statistic tells a story.” The dolls created through this new project will be used to create a traveling art exhibit in memory of the more than 600 missing and murdered Aboriginal women and girls in Canada.
Footprints Project2016Calgary & EdmontonABWe have been volunteering at the Awo Taan Healing Lodge's Sisters in Spirit annual march and vigil in Calgary for many years. Our birth mother was murdered in November 2015. We decided to collect 1,200 pairs of shoes as part of an art-and-awareness project to honor our lost sisters and to feature them at the Sisters in Spirit event that that took place on October 4, 2016 at the Olympic Plaza in Calgary. We surpassed our goal and collected more than 1,500 pairs. Project was to collect 1,200 pairs of good conditioned girls (including baby/toddler) and women’s shoes, each pair to represent a missing and murdered Indigenous woman or girl in Canada Create a commemorative public art installation using the 1200 pairs of shoes, which will be displayed during the Awo Taan Healing Lodge's 12th annual Sisters in Spirit march and vigil on October 4, 2016 at Olympic Plaza, Calgary
Fringe2007CanadaCNRebecca Belmore often uses the body to address violence and injustice against First Nations people, especially women. A member of the Anishinaabe nation, she affirms, My body is a place from which to address the whole notion of history and what has happened to us as Aboriginal people. The female figure in Fringe assumes the same reclining pose as the beautiful odalisques depicted by nineteenth century European artists, but bears an ugly slash from shoulder to hip. The deep scar running across the figure's back is created with the help of special-effects make up. What appear to be thin rivulets of blood running from the gash are composed of small red beads, a detail that evokes both Belmore's heritage and the trauma inflicted on indigenous peoples. Despite the graveness of the woman's injury, Belmore's Fringe is also about healing. The wound is not fatal, but the scar will never disappear.
Grandmother Earth Dress: Healing & Honouring Indigenous Women & Girls in the Spirit World?Thunder BayONThe Grandmother Earth Dress is a traditional red jingle dress, created by the Ontario Native Women’s Association (ONWA), and inspired by Jaime Black’s REDress Project. She honours and acknowledges Missing and Murdered Indigenous women, girls, and Two-Spirit people. She also serves as a sacred item of healing for families as well as communities to commemorate their loved ones. She is meant for families to visualize their loved one in beautiful traditional regalia.
Grandmother Moon (Sisters In Spirit logo)?OttawaONThis Grandmother Moon design is the official logo of the Sisters in Spirit (sis) initiative. It is a powerful teaching about Aboriginal women’s special connection to our Grandmothers who have passed into the Spirit world. Grandmother Moon provides us direction, strength, knowledge and wisdom in taking our sacred place in our families, communities and beyond. She teaches us about our sacred role as the life-givers and the heart of our nations—for without women our nations cannot go on. Artist Dick Baker designed the Kwakuitl Moon for the front of the poster, as well as carving a memorial that now stands in the Downtown Eastside of Vancouver.
Hiddedoor Studio Tattoos2017TorontoONOn the 14th day of each month, for as long as she can manage, the native artist from Kenora ON will create symbolic tattoos for clients and give the day’s earning to a family or organization searching for answers and justice.This first session was dedicated to Delaine Copenace, a 16-year-old from Kenora who was reported missing on Feb. 28, 2016, after reaching out to Delaine’s mother, Anita Ross, to get her blessing for the dedication.
Highway of Tears Memorial Totem Pole2020TerraceBCAfter years of planning, a commemoration and healing totem pole honouring missing and murdered Indigenous women will be raised at a highway pullout on Kitsumkalum territory west of Terrace in September. The totem pole is not just for missing and murdered Indigenous women — in a way, it’s also for missing and murdered people of all ages, colours and genders, as well as for two-spirit and LGBTQ people. The 24-foot totem pole is is not fully carved yet, but some of the figures are starting to take shape. Dangeli pointed out the main and largest figure on the totem pole, a young woman who will have a red dress and face paint. She will represent missing and murdered indigenous women. Above her is a matriarch figure. The bottom figure, which is a crucial figure because it bears the weight of the totem pole, is a killer whale, to acknowledge that the totem pole will be on Kitsumkalum killer whale clan territory.
Home and Native Land2018BarrieONCharla is a photography student at Georgian College in Barrie. She took a photo of her cousin wrapped in a Canadian flag with her mouth covered. She was thinking of Tina Fontaine when she decided to take this photo as an assignment for one of her classes. Other girls are found at the bottom of river banks, wrapped up, and I thought what's a better way to express that by using the Canadian flag as a body bag.
How Much Was Forgotten1983CardstonABReproduction of painting used in the Government of Canada National Inquiry into MMIWG website. This dichotomous relationship between appearance and content, or between style and subject creates a cognitive schism; it is that gap that creates a space for contemplation about the work and what it means. Though humour softens the blow of a critical message, I have found that making work which confronts the most difficult truths about Canadian society and the impacts of colonization on Aboriginal people are made remarkably palatable when delivered in a strikingly seductive package.
Inukshuks2015HamiltonONKristen Villebrun and a team of about 10 people have been constructing Inukshuks on the Chedoke Rail Trail for weeks as a way to foster conversation about Canada's missing and murdered aboriginal women. They've been appearing for weeks on Hamilton's Chedoke Rail Trail. If you look while out walking, you'll see them – little Stone inukshuks constructed every few feet. They're meant to represent the lives of missing and murdered aboriginal women – 1,181 of them, to be exact.
Inuksuit Campaign for Aboriginal women2016MontrealQCFebruary 14 - Hundreds of small stone inuksuit dotted the historic Saint Laurent Blvd. in Montreal Feb. 14 for the seventh annual memorial march to honour the lives of missing and murdered Indigenous women. Lucy Annanack, who braved -25 C Arctic-like weather for the march, started the inuksuit project with one goal in mind. “So we can be recognized and heard,” With the help of about 50 volunteers from Montreal-based facilities such as the Ivirtivik Centre, Project Autochtones du Quebec and the Native Friendship Centre, 400 inuksuit were prepared for the march on Valentine’s Day. She hopes to make 1200.
Jingle Dress Exhibit2019KenoraONThe exhibit will feature 50 jingle dresses – in person and through photographs. It will include the Grandmother Earth Dress which honours missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls, on loan from the Ontario Native Women’s Association; the dresses of jingle dress dancers in the area and from the Museum collection. Each dress is accompanied byits story.
Justice for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women2014MontrealQCBeautiful hoop dance by mother and daughter Barbara & Emily Diabo, of Kahnawake, as part of Saturday’s mural unveiling on St. Laurent. The mural was commissioned by Missing Justice and painted by Fanny Aisha, GUKO, and Monk-e, to honour the lives of missing and murdered native women. It’s message reads in English, French and Mohawk. The image of the woman in the mural is taken from a photo of Kahnawake’s Kahawinontie (Cheryl Diabo), a member of the Bear Clan, who was photographed during an earlier march in support of Missing and Murdered Women. Kahawinontie was on hand for the event.
Konnón:kwe (#InUnity)2014GuelphONEducative art campaign to increase awareness of the many forms of Indigenous women's work designed to protect their families and advocate for communities. Konnón:kwe, a Kanyen'kéha (Mohawk) word signifying “three or more women,” speaks to the power of collective agency demonstrated in this exhibition of Indigenous women artists. Themes of wellness, community, and environmental justice weave historic artifacts and contemporary fine art into a collection that invites visitors to consider Indigenous futurities in the local context.
Memory Quilt2003CanadaCDThe 50-year-old grandmother set up a Web site about missing native women. Ms. O'Hara, who was diagnosed as HIV-positive 12 years ago, started to notice a disturbing trend as she travelled to reserves around the country to raise awareness about AIDS: posters of native women missing in the smallest and most remote communities. Year after year, the same posters would be up, she said. She started posting cases and pictures on her Web site. She now has 175 women listed, not counting those missing and slain in Alaska. I look into their faces and think they couldn't have died in vain. What they went through, it can't be forgotten. It makes me so sad, she said. They deserve justice. ... People kill these girls and think they can get away with it. People know it's just another Indian if they get caught.She is organizing a memorial quilt with squares dedicated to each of Canada's missing and murdered native women. One of the patches is for Ramona Wilson.
Memory Quilt2020MontréalQCThroughout the fall, a group of Indigenous and non-Indigenous women in Montreal gathered every week to share, heal, and empower themselves as survivors of violence. Their stories and experiences are now stitched into a memory quilt that honours the lives of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls. The participants, who are all anonymous, were taught how to embroider and bead, each making a square to represent their own experiences or to reflect on the disproportionate number of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls across Canada.
Metal Red Dress and Rose 2018WinnipegMBThe two grade 12 students spent more than 300 hours welding a red dress hanging from a tree, branches, and leaves with the names of the provinces etched into them. There are seven branches to represent the seven teachings. The two students created a large rose out of plain pieces of metal. The rose is 4 feet tall. It has the name Tina etched in to it, in memory of Tina Fontaine.
Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women Quilt2017Thunder BayONBeading, painting, and healing characterize the creation of a quilt being made to honour the memories of missing and murdered Indigenous women. The Ontario Native Women's Association in Thunder Bayt., is hosting the event as part of their Sacred Tree program, an initiative focused on creating a healthier community. Carrie Gouesh wasn't sure what her design would look like, but she wanted to do something relating to Indigenous culture, like a medicine wheel or maybe something with a turtle, reflecting her spirit name Turtle Woman. Gouesh lost her sister in 2008. She says her sister spent most of her life on the streets, and she was always struggling.
MMIW Snow Sculpture2017Nova ScotiaNSMirya Obomsawin's grandmother was inspired by a sculpture in her home of three woman sitting in a circle for her daughter and granddaughter to create a snow sculpture. The idea was for a snow sculpting contest in Nova Scotia. The family used this to represent MMIWG and honour family member, Anna Mae Pitou-Aquash (protestor with the American Indian Movement, found shot in the head in South Dakota in 1975). The snow sculpture women are wearing red dresses. She has a candle holder and it has the three women sitting around it with their legs crossed, Obomsawin told The Huffington Post Canada on Wednesday. She's the one who said it could represent missing and murdered indigenous women.
Moccasin Vamps2016WhitehorseYKA large piece of artwork has been installed at the Kwanlin Dün Cultural Centre in Whitehorse, to commemorate the territory's missing and murdered indigenous women.The collaborative piece consists of a giant painting of a woman who's dressed in vamps — moccasin tops sewn and beaded by Yukon women over the last year. She said the sewing get-togethers in Whitehorse created a sense of community. Women talked about who they were sewing for, and shared stories. Some people sewed for specific women who have been murdered, or who are missing.The art was created to have a visual representation of loved ones who have been lost.
Mural for MMIWG Inquiry2017EdmontonABTwenty-two grade 11 students from three schools created a mural during the MMIWG hearing at the Edmonton Inn and Conference Centre. The murals travelled across Canada with the inquiry. With no further community hearings scheduled, the murals are in the inquiry's legacy archive in Winnipeg. Once complete, the legacy archive will be made public, including in a digital format. The schools included Archbishop O'Leary Catholic High School, Kipohtakaw Education Centre from Alexander First Nation.
Mural of Angel and Wendy Carlick (mother and daughter).2017WhitehorseYKYoung people with Yukon's Youth of Today Society (InnerVibe Community Centre) are now painting two portraits on the wall of the Staples store at the corner of Ogilvie Street and Third Avenue in Whitehorse. The mural was designed by Ali Khoda and Calvin Morberg. Josiah Jakesta, a relative of the two Carlick women, helped to paint the mural on a side of a Staples building. Before her death and after the death of her daughter, Wendy was an advocate for MMIWG. Wendy and Angel were Kaska First Nations.
Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women - Artwork2019VancouverBCRemembering those who have disappeared or have been found murdered, in cities/towns and Provinces, across this Nation. MMW is a National epidemic that must be stopped. More awareness must take place in order for the legal system to take these crimes seriously. These are our relations: sisters, aunties, cousins, daughters, and granddaughters. We must never give up searching for those missing and murdered. George Littlechild
Nibaa2017WinnipegONA mural dedicated to missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls was painted on the parking garage next to the old police headquarters. The mural was painted as part of the Wall to Wall Mural and Cultural Festival in 2017 and Valcourt said the most important part of the mural was the awareness it created. The building was demolished at the beginning of 2020. Valcourt painted the mural in 2017 and said he knew it would eventually be demolished, adding the demolition helped him decide what the mural would be. "The inner meaning behind the mural is that the disappearance of the women and girls coincides with the disappearance of the mural as well."
Not Forgotten2016Birdtail Sioux First NationMBOur mothers and daughters, our sisters and aunties and grandmothers. Our women are our heart and our spirit, always honoured, never forgotten. I am Dakota Sioux, a woman and mother, and an artist. These are inseparable facets of who I am and how I live in the world. That world, the world we all live and move in, is a place of great and terrible beauty, of wonder, and of tragedy. In this painting I speak to that wonder and beauty and tragedy. To capture both the wonders and the tragedy, I wanted to include motifs which connect with all the places our peoples live. Turning first to the West Coast peoples, I am honoured to have been allowed to include the moon image of my friend, artist and visionary Roy Henry Vickers, an image I first encountered in his illustrations for Dave Bouchard’s The Elders Are Watching. From the North, I incorporated the image of Sedna, the source of all the creatures of the sea. I have always been drawn to the shell and bead work of the Maliseet and other East Coast peoples and in this painting have echoed the fluidity and grace of their compelling designs. And then, the two feathers, acknowledging the Métis, and the peoples of the grasslands and woodlands, of the plains and the forests. Finally, the floating figures throughout the painting are the spirits and the presence of the missing and murdered women. Missing but never lost. Always present, always remembered.
Not Invisible2020EdmontonABThe picture is of an Indigenous woman, whose mouth and part of her face is covered with a bloody hand print. "One person shared it, and it just took off from there," Sanderson said, recalling how the painting's popularity overloaded her Facebook and Instagram inboxes with requests for more.
Patchwork of Hope2017SaskatoonSKThe idea was to provide a safe space and so that safe space, I guess, was envisioned by having blankets in the area and the spaces that the hearings are going to be held," said Jorgina Sunn, special advisor to Saskatchewan-based commissioner Marilyn Poitras.Sunn said the quilts were assembled in Saskatchewan where the national inquiry held workshops with inmates and as well as in women's shelters.
Patchwork Quilt2016Prince GeorgeBCA handmade quilt honouring the memories of British Columbia's missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls is helping their loved ones heal. The quilt was made from victims' clothing, blankets and other possessions. The colourful patchwork quilt unveiled at the B.C. Legislature on Tuesday is made up of 90 blocks crafted by families who have lost mothers, sisters, daughters and aunts. Quilt was created at a three-day gathering for families in Prince George.
Red Dress Photography2018?PEIWhen Bourque goes for a walk, she takes a red dress with her and when she sees the right spot, she hangs it up and takes a photo of it. She uses this moment as a way to pray for MMIWG and to honour them.
Red Feather Quilt2018CanadaCDThe #redfeatherquilt is a collaborative project in the quilting community across Canada to raise awareness of the tragedy of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls. This project was started by Erin (, who was inspired by the “REDress Project” which uses haunting displays of red dresses to symbolize the Missing women. You can read more about Erin’s journey with this project on her blog.
Red Jingle Dress Cone Project2020Swan Lake First NationON16-year-old Émilie McKinney is a bilingual student (French and English) at École Régional Notre-Dame, an international dancer (hoop, fancy, jingle, traditional) and a artist who wanted to make herself a new jingle dress. Émilie McKinney has created one of kind red jingles as part of an awareness and fundraising campaign to help families of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls. It’s believed to be the first time jingle cones have been made in this colour. To help with the launch the teen approached eight dressmakers from Canada and the United States with the idea of creating pieces that can be sold or auctioned off. One of those was Anishinaabe Mohawk designer Lesley Hampton. Proceeds will go to various organizations including the Eagle Urban Transition Centre in Winnipeg, Bear Clan Patrol Inc., Manitoba Keewatinowi Okimakanak, Ma Mawi Wi Chi Itata Centre; as well as some families and a group in Fort Hall, Idaho.
Red River Snow Sculptures2019WinnipegMBJaime Black sculpted six figures laying in the snow, face down on the ice, close to where the river skating trail ends. It is a comment on the fact that Indigenous women are facing high rates of violence in Winnipeg — often finding women in the river.
Red Road Clothing2018WinnipegMBWhat started a fundraiser to give her daughter an opportunity to see the world has turned into a full-time business for Winnipeg's Crissy Slater. She said with five kids, her budget is tight, so fundraising was the only way to send her 17-year-old daughter, Ariel Spence, on a grad trip to Italy. Growing up in poverty …my world was so tiny, it was so small, said Slater. I just wanted to give her the opportunities that I didn't get when I was growing up. So to open up her daughter's world, she created a design which she had put on T-shirts and hoodies, which she then sold through Facebook. Now up to four designs, the most popular is called Under the Moon — a design which honours missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls. On it are two women and two girls, which represents Slater, her two daughters and her sister. As a mother, everything we do is for our children. We just want them to have a good life, a better life, she said.
Resilience Project (The National Billboard Exhibition Project)2018CanadaCD50 contemporary artworks by Indigenous women artists exhibited on billboards from coast to coast. Resilience rebukes the historical erasure of Indigenous women's bodies and the exclusion of their art. Images by 50 First Nations, Inuit and Métis women artists embody the multitude of connections and contradictions that constitute contemporary Indigenous identities. In inner cities and on highways, sites from which too many women have disappeared, the presence of Indigenous women is made highly visible, individualized (beyond statistics), celebrated. This project is a physicalized reminder of buried histories and diverse contemporary perspectives. Indigenous women artists present their ideas, their visions, themselves.
Respect (Buffalo) - For Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women2014La RongeSKIn 2014, Langhorne received an Indigenous Pathways Initiative grant from the Saskatchewan Arts Board to create an extensive series of paintings highlighting both positive and negative experiences and conditions that characterize life in northern communities. Air Ronge artist Donna Langhorne is not one to shy away from difficult topics. Her recent body of work, a series of seven large paintings, addresses contemporary issues facing Indigenous peoples. Topics include addiction, missing and murdered Indigenous women and residential school experiences.
Ribbon Skirt2018EdmontonABA handmade red skirt with figures of women's backs. Sewn to meet the height requirements of the buyer. Made for MMIW awareness.
Ribbon Skirt Project 2019Portage la PrairieMBHer original intent was to collect 500 ribbon skirts that would be given out at an Indigenous elders’ gathering this fall. Neither of these goals has materialized, but instead the project has taken her and others involved in another direction — one of learning and sharing. Roulette said she’s gathered about 250 skirts so far and they come from all over. She’s been given sewing machines and financial support to buy fabric and ribbons. While she hasn’t received support from any level of government, she said what’s happened in terms of the project’s evolution has been more heartwarming. To date, she’s given skirts to a women’s shelter in Brandon and is looking for other agencies serving Indigenous women that are interested in having ribbon skirts available for clients. In the meantime, she plans to keep holding the bimonthly sewing sessions and collecting more skirts.
Ribbon Skirt Sewing Project2020VancouverBCA group of Vancouver women have come together to honour the families of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls at the upcoming Feb. 14 women's memorial march through a sewing project. They've been meeting at the Strathcona Community centre for several weekends with the goal of sewing 100 red ribbon skirts they plan to give to families at the upcoming march.
Ribbon Skirts2018Saskatoon (origins)SKEverything we at ReeCreeations design and create is meant to empower Indigenous Peoples and to amplify Indigenous voices and visibility. Take up space unapologetically. Artist makes ribbon skirts that are specially ordered by individuals, often in memory of loved ones, MMIW.
Ribbon Skirts2019ReginaMBMany women who attended the Mamawe! Mekowishwewin-miyomachowin gathering earlier this month walked away with a handcrafted ribbon skirt. 150 of the skirts were handed out at the gathering made by Agnes Woodward. The skirts were gifted to families of missing or murdered women.
Ripples of Loss2017St. AlbertABAlberta artist Terry McCue was so moved the first time he heard about the REDress movement, he was inspired to come up with his own tribute to missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls. A year and a half later, the Ojibway painter has a series of 16 works, making up the exhibit Ripples of Loss display at the Art Gallery of St. Alberta. This is the most important work in my career, said McCue, 72. The paintings represent the overwhelming sense of loss that ripples through Indigenous families and communities. Touched by the impact of the REDress movement, McCue created paintings depicting women wearing red dresses. But there's a sinister feel to each piece, because the women are portrayed as ghostly skeletons. This is what we lost, explained McCue. These are all about interrupted stories — stories that will never be told because someone stopped it, someone killed them, murdered them in a painful, horrible way.
See Me2015LondonONSean Couchie’s new exhibition, See Me, draws its guests into a world of spirituality, hope and pain. The artist saw an opportunity to bring awareness to the hundreds of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls. His goal is simple: to humanize these women and girls so people will finally see them as people instead of statistics.
See Me Too2016LondonONThe second show added to Couchie’s installation and featured young, emerging artist, Tehatsistahawi Kennedy. The event saw the addition of 2000 gold birds representing MMIW put on display. The hundreds in attendance at See Me Too had the opportunity to tour Atlohsa, purchase art or add a gold bird to the display.
Sharing Hope and Inspiration (quilt square)?OhswekenONThe six women on this quilt square represent the Iroquois of Six Nations. The square is part of the sisters in Spirit Traveling Quilt.
She Lights the Way2019SackvilleNBA commemorative artwork was unveiled as part of a community gathering and vigil Tuesday evening, an event hosted by Mount Allison University in response to the national inquiry for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG). Entitled She Lights the Way, the stained-glass red dress artwork by Mi’kmaq artist Pauline Young will be on display in the university’s Wallace McCain Student Centre as a memorial to Canada’s missing and murdered indigenous women and girls.
sister2010WinnipegMBsister was a site-specific work installed in the Audain Gallery at Simon Fraser University. The work was intended to be seen by participants of the February 14, 2010 Annual Women’s Memorial March for missing and murdered Indigenous women. sister faced Hastings Street in Vancouver’s Downtown Eastside.
Sisters in Spirit Traveling Quilt?Curve Lake First NationONAlice is also one of NWAC’s earliest advocates for Sisters in Spirit. A quilter by trade, Alice combines traditional teachings and designs with conventional North American quilting blocks. In her own words Alice wanted to “provide an avenue” for Indigenous peoples to express their reaction and emotional response to the “unfair treatment and abuses suffered by our People” and, as a result, launched a Call for Quilt Squares. Since that time, Alice has encouraged others to learn about Sisters in Spirit, design their own square and share its story. All the squares she collected were joined together to form a larger quilt. She has asked that the quilt travel with our staff nationwide.
Sisters in Spirit Week2014TorontoONArts Workshop, Sweetgrass Ceremony, Teach-In, Social Media & Letter-writing Campaign. Art workshop facilitated by Red Pepper Spectacle Arts. This event was part of the Sisters in Spirit Week 2014, 5 Days of Events prior to Sisters in Spirit Vigil.
Skate Park Mural2017EnderbyBCThe mural, painted last year by artist Isha Jules at the skate park in Enderby, was a statement that missing women would not be forgotten. It boldly stated “No more stolen sisters.” This week, someone painted over that message with the words “No more drunk stolen squaw sisters.” The mural had already been painted over in black and white at some point previously.
Star Blanket Project2016WinnipegMBWall-to-wall mural done by Kenneth Lavallee and emerging artists from Red Road Lodge. The design of the star blanket's geometric design (morning star) is to protect, empower, give comfort and hope to those wearing it over their shoulders. The design is to commemorate and draw attention to MMIWG. Lavalee wanted it to be a way of reclaiming physical space on Treaty 1 land. This land knows its people; Win-nipi has been a site of Indigenous community for over 6,000 years, representing generations of collective responsibility to the territory and to its people. Win-nipi has experienced many histories, treaties and “developments”. Collective responsibility can be found within community-based movements and mobilized by its nation’s members. These artists reveal ways how Indigenous communities come together to raise each other up, sharing our responsibilities to each other, to the land and to our future.
Still Dancing2014GaspéQCThe title of the painting is “Still Dancing” The idea for the title came from my little sister: “Dancers dance for those who cannot, the sick, the elders, and those who are gone. It’s like all those women are still dancing thru her. “ I was overwhelmed and very humbled (and honoured) to have so many share this piece of art on Facebook. I used my friend Berta KaKinoosit as the model for this, I tried not to make it look too much like her but people recognized her anyways. I decided to donate this to the Montreal Native Women’s Shelter to raise awareness of Missing and Murdered women in Canada. I hoped sharing it with others would bring this issue to minds of many people, and hope that none of our sisters, mothers, aunts or daughters will ever be forgotten. Thank you.
Strength and Remembrance Pole (totem pole)2019VancouverBCThe pole is topped with the figure of a woman who represents all those who never came home. She is wrapped in a blanket to symbolize the love and care those gathered still feel for her and she stands atop an eagle, which has carried her home, with courage, to the creator, said Alroy Baker, the Squamish Nation elder who hosted the event. Beyond Indigenous woman, the committee says the pole is also a memorial to the 14 women murdered in the Montreal Massacre, and all women who suffer violence. Squamish Nation hereditary chief Gibby Jacob said the occasion should be used to bring everyone closer together.
Tears for the Missing2019TorontoONAcrylic on a skateboard - painting by Jay Soule aka CHIPPEWAR ~ This painting is a tribute to the thousands of missing and murdered indigenous women and girls across turtle Island.