The association, which has gathered statistics on the issue for the past five years wants to move beyond the numbers.
Dolls made in "Faceless Doll Project" workshop, Ontario highschool, March 2012 (Native Women's Association of Canada)
The project they created was The Faceless Dolls Project.
"What we wanted to do was visually and physically create a representation of the 582 known cases of missing and murdered Aboriginal Women and Girls in Canada," says Jennifer Lord, NWAC Strategic Policy Liaison.
The Faceless Dolls Project will be travelling across Canada where workshop participants will create their own faceless doll. The dolls will then become part of a travelling exhibit that will continue to share the story of this harsh reality for Aboriginal women.
The association brought in visual artist Gloria Larocque
who had created an art piece entitled "The Aboriginal Angel Doll Project" in 2005. Larocque conducts the workshops in which the "faceless dolls" are created. She says the project is, "is a statement to promote humanity and individuality denied to a group of Aboriginal women who have been victims of crimes and thus rendered faceless and labeled an issue."
Larocque says that participants become artivists, a combination of artist and activist, by participating in the project. "Creating a beautiful doll is as an active response to the denigrated identity suffered by victims of violence; it becomes a process of reconstructing identity. Bridging the traditional to contemporary use of dolls within Aboriginal societies, connects the historical context of the important role Aboriginal women continue to have in Canada, long since before Canada became a country."
"The process of identity construction through artwork allows the artivist and viewer the opportunity to say, the missing and murdered Aboriginal women are worth remembering as loved family members", Larocque continues, "and are members of society worthy of justice."The workshop will be held at the KeKiNan Centre, 100 Robinson Ave. from 9 a.m. to noon on Tuesday, April 17. Please register a seat at this workshop with Jackie at 1.800.461.4043 ext 231 or firstname.lastname@example.org .
Miles Morrisseau, Winnipeg writer & broadcaster