Sudbury

Exhibit honouring missing and murdered Indigenous women visits Sudbury

A national exhibit to honour missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls is in Sudbury.
Vamps, which are the top part of moccasins, represent missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls. They're part of an exhibit called Walking With Our Sisters that currently visiting Sudbury. (Jason Turnbull/CBC)

A national exhibit to honour missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls is in Sudbury.

The Walking With Our Sisters exhibit features vamps, which is the top part of a moccasin.

"They're in pairs and each of them are unique and representing a loved one who has gone missing or murdered," Lisa Osawamick, the Aboriginal Women Violence Prevention Coordinator at Greater Sudbury Police, said.

Osawamick says the vamps in the exhibit have never been on any moccasins.

"That signifies this individual, this woman, has not been able to complete her life here," she explained.

"All these vamps are unfinished. They're beaded and they're beautiful. Lots of love has gone into making these vamps."

Lisa Osawamick is the Aboriginal Women Violence Prevention Coordinator at Greater Sudbury Police said. (Jason Turnbull/CBC)

She says family and community members beaded each vamp to honour and reflect the missing or murdered Indigenous woman it represents.

"When people come into the sacred space … we hope that community members, Indigenous and non-Indigenous, come and visit," she said.

Helping to heal

Julie Ozawagosh from Atikmekshing Anishnabek says as grandmother, she has a specific role to play for the exhibit.

"To help guide people to understand that we can grieve but not hold onto that grief," she said.

"There's a way to let go and not to carry it when they leave this building. Our role is to really just help the people, maybe with teachings or a ceremony of smudging and releasing if they need to release through crying. As a grandmother, we hurt but it's our role as well to help heal."

The exhibit officially opens on Sunday and runs until Jan. 17, at the Laurentian University School of Architecture.

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