Earlier this month I was in Yellowknife in the Northwest Territories for business. On the flight a gentleman told me about an exhibit that had just opened in Yellowknife for a short period. I made a mental note to try to catch it.
After giving two days of presentations I was tired. It was -35C. The hotel room was warm, had great internet connection and room service. Not a bad way to spend my four free hours.
As warm and cozy as it was in my room I felt compelled to visit the Prince of Wales Heritage Centre. For the past year or so the tragedy of murdered and missing indigenous women has been prominent in our news. Here was an exhibit that pays tribute to these women.
Walking With Our Sisters is a travelling exhibit. It consists of a path of beaded moccasin vamps laid out on the floor. Only the vamps, the tops of the moccasins, are made. These unfinished moccasins represent the unfinished lives of hundreds of murdered and missing indigenous women in Canada and the United States. Each pair of vamps represents one woman. The vamps wound through two rooms. The numbers were shocking.
The beading was beautiful. Each pair unique, just like the women they represent.
Here are a few pictures, taken with permission, from the Walking With Our Sisters poster. No photography is allowed in the exhibit.
I urge you to visit the website and read more. It is sobering. It is reality.
Should we, as a nation, be ashamed?
Should we be outraged?
Can we do anything about it?
At the end of my tour of the vamps I was met by a gracious lady, fully prepared to engage with emotionally impacted visitors. Like the exhibit, she exuded peace and serenity. These women are gone, but not forgotten.
Let us know if you read more about Walking With Our Sisters. We would love to know your thoughts.
For our Ottawa readers, the exhibit will be at Gallery 101, September 25th – October 16th, 2015.