It’s difficult but so necessary to write about this subject. In the past 30 years, over 1,000 native women have gone missing or have been murdered in Canada.
In March 2016, the Canadian government finally committed to launching an inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls. Hopefully, additional resources will mean that more of these cases are solved and justice for many of these women and their families is achieved.
In order to bring awareness to this issue, some artistic initiatives have also been launched. An exhibit titled ‘Walking with our Sisters’ was created, and is travelling through Canada and the United States. It features the tops (vamps) of over 1,800 pairs of moccasins. These are individually beaded and decorated, and together create one huge collaborative memorial. If you have the opportunity, visit this powerful exhibit.
Finally, Manitoba-born Sioux artist Maxine Noel has created ‘Not Forgotten’, an image designed to honour the spirits and presence of those missing and murdered. We are very proud to support this initiative by selling coffee mugs with the image. Sales support Sisters In Spirit, an anti-violence against women initiative run by the Native Women’s Association of Canada.