NATIONAL MMIWG INQUIRY

Sharing truth with art at inquiry into missing, murdered Indigenous women

Archivist curating dozens of paintings, poems and other artwork contributed during national inquiry

As survivors and loved ones of victims recount memories of loss, abuse and resilience during the final stretch of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls this week in B.C., others are choosing to depict their experiences through contributed artwork.

Petra Turcotte is the senior archivist tasked with curating dozens of paintings, poems, songs and other artwork contributed by Indigenous people during the past year as the inquiry toured through 15 communities across the country.

As the inquiry comes to a close in Richmond this week, Turcotte told Black Press Media that each piece of artwork displays experiences that for many are hard to put into words.

READ MORE: Final leg of national missing women inquiry begins in B.C.

“To tell a stranger your truth is very challenging, and a lot of people can’t do that,” she said. “This offers a way for people to express their truth in a very safe and secure environment, yet be able to share with the nation and with the people… and contribute to that.”

A thousand women and allies have spoken on the racism, violence and discrimination they’ve faced during community hearings across the country, heard by Commissioners who will take these stories and determine recommendations to the federal government in a detailed report in the New Year.

WATCH: Youth group contributes song to inquiry on Highway of Tears

The dozens of pieces collected – some dropped off during community hearings and others mailed to the headquarters in Manitoba – will accompany the testimony from survivors and families of victims who wished to share their truths throughout the inquiry.

“I think Indigenous art in particular has a huge role in how it can translate to culture and traditional knowledge,” Turcotte said, adding it’s often used as a form of resistance and a way of bringing awareness of historical truth.

With the federal government yet to decide if the national inquiry will get an extension, Turcotte said the organizers will soon determine what happens with the contributed pieces.

Turcotte said they’ll be turned into a legacy exhibit of some kind, and hopes the pieces will be used for both outreach and education.

“A lot of youth engage better through education and art,” Turcotte said.

“It helps people become aware of the things going on in their own backyards.”


@ashwadhwani
ashley.wadhwani@bpdigital.ca

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Just Posted

Nelson has West Kootenay’s cheapest gas prices

The cost rises significantly outside the city

Selkirk students pay it forward with pizza

The adult special education program is buying slices for those in need

Dance Fusion: ‘smooth, entertaining and emotional’

250-dancer showcase includes a piece by a group of young dancers and their fathers

Nelson figure skaters visit Enchanted Forest

The club held its annual year-end show on April 15

PHOTOS: Nelson Rhythm Ropers skip to success at provincials

The team won 56 medals last weekend at L.V. Rogers

VIDEO: B.C. man recognized for spinning basketball on toothbrush

Abbotsford man holds world record for longest duration of time of 60.5 seconds

Cat found stuffed in box in Dumpster in northeastern B.C.

Still alive, cat was found near Dawson Creek restrained with zip ties, legs forced behind neck

Fears prompt feds to establish BBQ brush safety standards

Wire-bristle safety fears prompt Ottawa to establish BBQ brush safety standards

Don’t forget about women left to sweep up shards of glass ceiling, W7 urges G7

When Prime Minister Justin Trudeau champions gender equality at the G7 he is being asked to raise the concerns of marginalized women

Canadian air travel industry fears pilot flight-time limits will go too far

Air carriers urge feds to slow down flight-time limits for sleepy pilots

Sky-high farmland prices ‘ruinous’ for B.C. agriculture: UFV ag professor

Fraser Valley-based Tom Baumann says $80K-per-acre in area threatens food security

B.C. man charged with litany of drug charges in cross-border smuggling operation

William Milton Barnes of Saanich faces multiple charges

Political heavyweights hit Washington in hunt for NAFTA deal

Officials from Prime Minister’s office, Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland part of talks

Most Read