Sacred Feminine: Indigenous art colouring book celebrates the power of women

Adult colouring books are all the rage right now. But Winnipeg artist Jackie Traverse saw that there weren't many books available celebrating female First Nation art. That's when she decided to use her paintings to create Sacred Feminine.
Sacred Feminine by Jackie Traverse is published by Fernwood Publishing. (Erica Daniels/CBC)
Jackie Traverse recently released an adult colouring book featuring many of her past works and two new drawings. Traverse had a graphic designer pull the colour from her normally very colourful paintings and inked over them to create the book. 
Artist Jackie Traverse based her new adult colouring book on her own paintings with all the colour removed. (Erica Daniels/CBC)
Traverse said she was inspired to create the book because she saw the opportunity to insert her art into the mainstream, something she is always pushing to do. She recalled never seeing girls who looked like her in media, children's toys or even Christmas tree toppers.

With the popularity of adult colouring books still on the rise Traverse decided to create one that focused on the power and beauty of Indigenous woman. 
The Sacred Feminine adult colouring book celebrates Indigenous women. (Erica Daniels/CBC)

"The book is dedicated to my granddaughter, my daughters, the families of missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls in care and women in corrections," Traverse explained. "I'm all of these things and I turned my life around 17 years ago, so I want the book to be inspirational to women and girls who are still struggling." 

Traverse grew up in foster care after her mother died at an early age and colouring with her mom is one of the few memories Traverse still has. After her death Traverse turned inward and used art as a way to shield herself from the world around her. "Art is therapeutic, as a child it saved me," she said. 

Traverse hopes to make Sacred Feminine available in any place across Canada that has Indigenous women and girls in care. She hopes the images empower women and help them see the strength they come from. 

"All women are sacred. You are beautiful," Traverse said. "You come from a long history of beautiful, rich cultural people."