Today is May 5, a time designated to honouring the spirits of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls, and 2-Spirit People. It is a day to raise awareness of, and speak out on violence inflicted against Indigenous people.
The Red dresses in this window are an installation of the “The REDress Project” started by Jaime Black. It focuses around the issue of missing or murdered Aboriginal women across Canada. It is an installation art project based on an aesthetic response to this critical national issue. The project has been installed in public spaces throughout Canada and the United States as a visual reminder of the staggering number of women who are no longer with us.
Jaime Black is a multidisciplinary artist of mixed Anishinaabe and Finnish descent. Her art practice engages in themes of memory, identity, place, and resistance. It is grounded in an understanding of the body and the land as cultural and spiritual knowledge sources.
This installation in the Women’s Centre was led and created by Julia Rose Sutherland with contributions from women.
Sutherland is a Canada-born artist who is a member of the Metepenagiag Mi’kmaq Nation. She has an interdisciplinary practice which utilizes mediums such as photography, sculpture and performance.
Sutherland is navigating trauma and social issues associated with ongoing violence towards Indigenous populations In Canada. She addresses the systems of commodification, representation, and worth and the identity politics surrounding Indigenous Peoples of North America. With this, she fosters a dialogue regarding these marginalized communities’ treatment, representation, and voice. Often the work emphasizes concepts of loss, and absence, alongside adapted Metepenagiag Mi’kmaq Nation traditional materials and techniques. Sutherland desires to regain a sense of identity and to engage in a more mindful conversation around topics such as addiction, mental health, feminism, and aboriginal identity politics.