Not Forgotten - Maxine Noel - Ioyan Mani, Sioux Artist
Our mothers and daughters, our sisters and aunties and grandmothers. Our women are our heart and our spirit, always honoured, never forgotten. I am Dakota Sioux, a woman and mother, and an artist. These are inseparable facets of who I am and how I live in the world. That world, the world we all live and move in, is a place of great and terrible beauty, of wonder, and of tragedy. In this painting I speak to that wonder and beauty and tragedy.
To capture both the wonders and the tragedy, I wanted to include motifs which connect with all the places our peoples live. Turning first to the West Coast peoples, I am honoured to have been allowed to include the moon image of my friend, artist and visionary Roy Henry Vickers, an image I first encountered in his illustrations for Dave Bouchard’s The Elders Are Watching. From the North, I incorporated the image of Sedna, the source of all the creatures of the sea. I have always been drawn to the shell and bead work of the Maliseet and other East Coast peoples and in this painting have echoed the fluidity and grace of their compelling designs. And then, the two feathers, acknowledging the Métis, and the peoples of the grasslands and woodlands, of the plains and the forests.
Finally, the floating figures throughout the painting are the spirits and the presence of the missing and murdered women. Missing but never lost. Always present, always remembered.
~ Maxine Noel/Ioyan Mani
For years, our communities have pointed to the high number of missing and murdered Aboriginal women and girls in Canada. Although Aboriginal females represent only four per cent of the Canadian female population, they account for 16% of murders committed in Canada. Aboriginal women and girls in Canada are especially vulnerable to violence that results in them becoming a missing or murdered statistic. It is time for this to end.
The Native Women’s Association of Canada is dedicated to demanding a National Inquiry and a National Action Plan to address the underlying root causes and inequities which create the terrible burden of violence carried by Aboriginal women and girls.
Proceeds of the "Not Forgotten Collection" will help support the Native Women's Association of Canada (NWAC) -- a voice for the missing and murdered Aboriginal women in Canada.