North

Messages of hope adorn quilts for MMIWG inquiry in Whitehorse

A tent set up behind the Kwanlin Dun Cultural Centre in Whitehorse has been decorated with 19 quilts bearing messages of support.

'It creates a safe space for the families and people coming forward to tell their truths,' says artist

Quilts decorated with messages of hope and encouragement hang inside a tent in Whitehorse for the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls. (Philippe Morin/CBC)

A tent set up behind the Kwanlin Dun Cultural Centre in Whitehorse has been decorated with 19 quilts bearing messages of support for the families of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls.

About 40 families are set to provide testimony under the tent this week, or in private adjacent cabins, as the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls gets underway.

"We wanted messages of hope, we wanted messages of encouragement," said Gina Zeegers, an artist working on the project.

Zeegers is also known under her artist's name of Jorgina Sunn. She said the quilts will make the inquiry look less like a courtroom and less intimidating.

She said the quilts were assembled in Saskatchewan where the national inquiry held workshops with inmates and as well as in women's shelters.

Participants were asked to draw or write their thoughts about ending violence, and were encouraged to write messages to people affected by violence.

Participants were asked to draw or write on the quilts their thoughts about ending violence against women and girls. (Philippe Morin/CBC)

​"It keeps it authentic," Zeegers said. "It creates a safe space for the families and people coming forward to tell their truths."

The idea came from the inquiry's Grandmothers' Advisory Council.

Public testimony will begin Tuesday and run until Thursday.

The quilts were assembled in Saskatchewan where the national inquiry held workshops with inmates and as well as in women's shelters. (Philippe Morin/CBC)

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