On November 11, 2013 Walking With Our Sisters opened in Regina at the First Nations University Library.
“There were so many who came to “walk with our sisters” hundreds of school children, university students, general public of all ages. People drove in from afar and some even flew in to see the exhibit and participate in the many events that were hosted as part of the exhibit. It was a joy to witness.” (From our Facebook Page)
Midway through the exhibit we held a Yoga Fundraiser to raise money as well as to get us warmed up for the coming winter. Led by instructor Danette Exner we raised $300 for the WWOS project!
We also held a book launch on Thursday, November 28 where 3 mother-daughter pairings read from “Honouring Indigenous Women, Hearts of Nations, Volume 2.” We thank our MC, Elder Nellie Ironquill for her contribution. We would also like to thank our readers Victoria and Carrie Bourassa, Sarah and Misty Longman, and Tara Willett and Shauneen Pete.
The next day, Friday, November 29, mispon and the First Nations University of Canada paid tribute to Walking With Our Sisters by hosting a screening of selected short films on missing and murdered Indigenous women that included “Survival, Strength, Sisterhood: Power of Women in the Downtown Eastside.” The Yorkton Short Film Festival kindly provided 2011′s Best Aboriginal Golden Sheaf winner Xstine Cook and Jesse Gouchey’s “The Spirit of the Bluebird” for screening.
We were fortunate to have the support of many news and media outlets over the duration of the exhibit.
From our Facebook wall:
“Great media turnout this am with Saskatchewan CBC, CTV and Global. WWOS will be featured on SK news on all the major networks this evening. Global all present with cameras and reporters. Missinipi Broadcasting Corporation has been running an interview today. Tomorrow, Sheila Coles will be running her interview on WWOS and her time with Tracey George-Heese. the Leader-Post will be include pictures as they sent out their photographer today in follow up to their Saturday story.”
To listen to what Global News had to say on their report “Exhibit honours missing and murdered indigenous women” click here.
Sheila Coles of CBC Radio One interviewed Tracey George-Heese regarding her story and contribution to WWOS. You can listen to the CBC interview here (note: the interview is in French).
Saskatchewan based Eagle Feather News interviewed Danette Exner, Judy Anderson and Katherine Boyer for the article “Powerful art installation honours missing, murdered women” by Judy Bird.
To close the Walking With Our Sisters Exhibit a powerful panel discussion was held on the final day.
“The panel was a touching collage of personal insight, historic accounting and deep reflection. Four women presented their perspective to a strong turnout (despite the harsh winter conditions)
Camille Munro provided opening remarks and sharing about her experience and choices as a public figure, how she came to learn about the plight of Indigenous murdered and missing women as well as her activism work. Camille is Miss World Canada 2013.
Danette Exner (read her story on Leaderpost)shared about her family’s loss and how it has influenced her work to date which included a community arts project and publication. Danette is an Instructional Consultant for Regina Public Schools.
Bridget Keating presented on her paper “The Privilege of Blindness,” which concerns violence, dispossession, and resistance. It focuses, in part, on settler-colonialism. Bridget is a sessional lecturer and a PhD student at the University of Regina, where she is studying resistance art in Zapatista communities.
Brenda Anderson’s presentation is entitled “What Standing Alongside Might Look Like.” It focuses on the different ways one can engage in ally work, as well as the challenges this poses in terms of voice and agency. Brenda teaches in Women’s and Gender Studies and Religious Studies at Luther College at the University of Regina.” (from our Facebook Page)
“The amazing ripple effects of WWOS continues!”
On January 22nd, 2014 just a short time after the WWOS Exhibit closed Thom Collegiate of Regina launched a thoughtful exhibit titled “Through Our Eyes” of vamps they created that were inspired by the WWOS Exhibit and in memory of the missing and murdered Indigenous sisters. The images below are of the exhibit as well as the high school students who worked on beading vamps for the Exhibit at this local Regina high school. “Most [were] first time beaders and working on art pieces that connected to honouring the women and families of WWOS or they have been inspired to create a piece honouring an important female in their lives.” (from our Facebook Page)
Another project that began before WWOS but also aims to shed light on the issue of Missing and Murdered Indigenous women is the “Faceless Doll Project” organized by the Native Women’s Association of Canada and this past September the RCMP Heritage Centre in Regina. So many wonderful (and creative) people are committed to raising awareness through the power of art.
AND FINALLY THANK YOU!
From our Facebook Page:
“Much gratitude to Elder Diane Kaiswatum for lifting her grandmother pipe on Friday to bring the exhibit to a close ceremonially.
Thank you to all the volunteers for stepping up with such kindness and intent. Thank you to the Regina committee members for their volunteer leadership and insight.
Thank you to FNUniv Elder’s Helper Roland Kaye for you assistance around protocol and looking after the WWOS eagle staffs.
We wish the sisters and the host communities the very best for the next exhibit.”
Facebook Event Pages for the Regina Exhibit:
Media for WWOS Regina: