This participatory installation consists of 300+ sheets of paper. If you look closely, each page has a blind-embossed name of a woman. Each woman has passed away. In these cases, the Canadian authorities have said that they did not involve foul play. This list is only the tip of a much larger and heartbreaking systemic issue as it displays Indigenous women in Canada and by no means reflects the epidemic in the rest of North America.
The viewer is asked to take a hands-on approach with this memorial like work. Take a moment and use the sage ash provided to touch, feel and reveal the name on a sheet. Once this has been done, they are asked to take note of her name. Say it aloud and with pride. Remember, she was someone. She was someone, and she deserves to be known, loved, and remembered.
When our ancestors “leave” or pass on, it is only from one form to another. These women are still here, as a collective sum of our history, our strength, and our knowledge. They stay to teach and watch over us. To help us stay resilient.
*Delores Brown, 19, was last seen on July 27, 2015. Family and friends notified the police two days later. Brown was from Penelakut Island, B.C. Her phone, iPod, and wallet were found in her bedroom, making her disappearance seem more than that of a runaway. Her body was recovered from the water of another small island, Norway Island, on Aug. 19. Police say foul play is suspected. Ladysmith RCMP is still investigating this case.