Walking With Our Sisters/Christi Belcourt, via Facebook
Walking With Our Sisters, an exhibit of beaded moccasin vamps, opens to honor missing and murdered indigenous women throughout Turtle Island. It is in Edmonton through October 12 and then embarks on a 32-stop, six-year tour that crisscrosses Canada.

Walking in Their Shoes: Edmonton Exhibit Honors the Murdered & Missing

ICTMN Staff
10/2/13

Walking With Our Sisters, the stirring moccasin-vamp exhibit honoring murdered and missing aboriginal women in Canada and the United States, opens in Edmonton, Alberta, on October 2, beginning its six-year, 32-stop journey through dozens of cities.

The exhibit, as The Globe and Mail put it in an October 1 story, “is both a memorial and a call to action” that poses the question, “Why are indigenous women so vulnerable to violence, and why isn’t more done about it?”

It all started in July 2012, when Métis artist Christi Belcourt reached out on Facebook to gather collaborators for the art project, which would honor the 600 aboriginal women who have been documented as missing or murdered. Her goal was to assemble 600 pairs, but her call generated 1,723 pairs of vamps, the upper beaded part of the moccasin.

RELATED: Waiting for Other Shoe to Drop: Exhibit Honors Missing, Murdered Women

Strict protocol has been followed in setting up the exhibit, in line with Elders’ instructions, “as if the women are standing there,” Belcourt wrote on the Walking With Our Sisters Facebook page.

“We have created a sacred space,” she wrote. “We will pray together to acknowledge the lives of the women. Everything is about the women and about the families. The volunteers and organizing committee in Edmonton have ensured that everything that is done, is done with the utmost respect.”

Tanya Kappo, Cree, Sturgeon Lake First Nation, and one of the founders of Idle No More (she was first to use the hashtag that brought the movement viral), is the exhibit’s keeper. She is overseeing ceremonial protocols and connecting with local communities.

“The vamps have this intense energy around them that I can’t explain,” Kappo told The Globe and Mail. “It seems to grow as more people see and interact with them.”

The exhibit is scheduled to crisscross Canada and the U.S. through 2019, according to the Walking With Our Sisters website, with a stop in Michigan in 2016.

RELATED: Taking Control: Indigenous in Canada Compile Own Database on Missing and Murdered Women

More on Canada’s Missing and Murdered Women

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REMA QUINTAL's picture
REMA QUINTAL
Submitted by REMA QUINTAL on
being a part of this project is a true honor..having lost sisters has put some closure..AY HAY for the healing Christi Belcourt an fellow helping hands..our sisters are looking down an smiling..never forgotten <3

Dieter Teise's picture
Dieter Teise
Submitted by Dieter Teise on
The SHE-MANITOU walks in every woman's moccasin to the end of "the road". "What is and was her PATH"? May HER grace light our eyes that we may see the purpose of every step SHE treads. May those who have gone before us unite with HER, and bless those who remain in the realm of terrestrial breath wherever she sets HER foot before the other.
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