Saskatoon

Saskatoon art makes patchwork of hope for MMIWG hearings

What does ending violence look like to you? That was the question asked of participants at an art event held by the National Inquiry for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls in Saskatoon.

Art workshop creates 150 squares with theme of ending violence

Artists at the Saskatoon event wrote messages of hope for the families of missing women and girls. (Submitted by Jorgina Sunn)

What does ending violence look like to you? That was the question asked of participants at an art event held by the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls in Saskatoon.

The Friday event invited the public to draw or write on cloth squares that will be made into a blanket to be hung at hearings for the national inquiry.

Jorgina Sunn, special advisor to Saskatchewan-based commissioner Marilyn Poitras, said the blankets were the vision of the inquiry's Grandmother's Advisory Council.  

"The idea was to provide a safe space and so that safe space, I guess, was envisioned by having blankets in the area and the spaces that the hearings are going to be held," said Sunn.

Program includes incarcerated women

About 150 artworks were created on square cloths for the blanket on Friday. 
The Saskatoon workshop asked artists to respond to the question of what ending violence looks like to them. (Submitted by Jorgina Sunn)

Separate to the open event, women behind bars also created squares to add to the blanket through the Elizabeth Fry Society of Saskatchewan.

The same art workshop was offered to residents of transition houses for women fleeing domestic violence.

"I was also a survivor of those homes so it was really about including women to make blankets for our stolen sisters, Indigenous women and girls," said Sunn.

Creating community

Poitras also attended the public Friday event. Sunn said it was an opportunity to engage with the community after criticism that the inquiry was taking too long.

"This is something that affects our country and our nation and violence is something that affects every human globally in some way," said Sunn.

"So creating community, creating these blankets, is just one way that the national inquiry is engaging community as a result of, you know, the open letter, and then the response from the chief commissioner."

Sunn said the blanket would be ready in time for the inquiry's first hearings in Whitehorse

One of the artworks created at Friday's workshop in Saskatoon. (Submitted by Jorgina Sunn)