Ni wapataenan is Michif for “we see” (Michif is a traditional language of the Metis people).
We See will highlight the lived experiences of missing and murdered indigenous women and their families through a large participatory outdoor public art installation incorporating red dresses, bare pine tree trunks, and an empty tipi frame.
Metis artist Jamie Black’s work has made red dresses a representation of the nearly 1200 missing and murdered indigenous women of this country. Through the red dresses, these women are present and visible as mothers, sisters, friends, daughters and as part of the fabric of our communities
The We See project seeks to participate in the process of reconciliation between indigenous and non-indigenous people as laid out by the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. In particular, art, listening, conversation and interactive educational activities will foster reconciliation in Edmonton neighbourhoods and communities.
We See aims to engage the stories of our shared history in this land. When we are able to see ourselves and our place in the stories of the relationship between settlers and indigenous peoples, we can begin to imagine a new story together. May our new stories acknowledge truth, pursue healing, justice, reconciliation and change so that the future does not mirror the past.
Our hope is that what ‘we see’ will lead to new ways of thinking and acting.
Exhibition Dates: February 7 - March 5
Deadline for Responses of Interest: January 28
How you can get involved
We are seeking writers to reflect on what was stolen and lost when these women were taken from their communities, as well as the precious legacies they have left behind.
We are not asking you to tell anyone's story. Our invitation to you is to share your reflections and responses to what you read as a way of engaging reconciliation through creative writing. What are your feelings as you read through this material? What questions do you have? What do you want to learn more about? What does reconciliation mean to you in this context? We are inviting your personal responses to the attached document in a writing style of your choice.
Your contribution will be hung in the outdoor installation as part of the opening ceremony on Sun. Feb. 7th at 2 pm and will become part of the installation, encouraging those who visit it to also engage with and respond to what they encounter and experience. If you are in the Edmonton area, we invite you to attend the opening ceremony and personally hang your submission. If you would like more information about this portion, please let me know.
How this will happen
Anyone in Canada is welcome to make a contribution.Contributions should be under 500 words and should be submitted by February 1, 2016.
Crafted words will remain part of this living, participatory installation From February 7 to March 5, and may also be used online or in print in connection with this project. All participating artists will be recognized and attributed and retain rights to their work.
For more information or to become involved, please email Heather Ritz by Thursday, January 28 at
updated January 20, 2015