Ni wapataenan (We see)
Public Art Installation and Event Programming
Ni wapataenan is Michif for “we see” (Michif is a traditional language of the Metis people).
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, this project hopes to further reconciliation in Edmonton neighbourhoods and communities by creating opportunities for engagement and response through art, listening, conversation, and interactive educational activities.
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, and see how those stories intersect with the stories of our own lives, then we can begin to imagine a new story together--one where each of us can take action to acknowledge truth, and pursue healing, justice, reconciliation and change so that the future does not look the past. Our hope is that new ways of seeing will lead to new ways of thinking and acting.
We See has chosen to highlight the lived experiences of missing and murdered indigenous women and their families through an interactive, participatory outdoor public art installation incorporating red dresses and an empty tipi frame. Metis artist Jamie Black’s work with red dresses has made them a way of making the nearly 1200 missing and murdered indigenous women of this country present and visible as mothers, sisters, friends, daughters and as part of the fabric of our communities
On Sunday, February 7, at 2 PM, this installation will open in the field at 118th Ave and 92nd street.
An indoor installation by multidisciplinary artist Lana Whiskeyjack, from Saddle Lake Cree Nation, will be open in Bleeding Heart Art Space across the street, showcasing images of strong indigenous women of this country. These exhibits will remain up until March 5th when there will be a closing ceremony at 3 PM.
Three other events will run in conjunction with these installations:
- Youth Event, Feb 13, 2 PM - 4:30 PM
An event for indigenous and non-indigenous youth. Contact Amy Croy for details at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Listen First, post-installation, date to be announced
A panel of speakers to give voice to those who often go voiceless.
- Blanket Exercise, February 27, 2:30 PM
A highly interactive and participatory re-telling of the history of this country that engages indigenous experiences and creates a safe space for sharing responses. St.Faith's Anglican Church (11725 93rd street).
Get information and get involved
FEBRUARY 7 at 2 PM
March 5 at 3 PM
A 30 by 30 foot installation will open on the green space at 92nd street and 118th Ave on February 7. In that space, a bare tipi frame will be encircled by a a double spiral of bare tree trunks. Upon those trunks, 40 red dresses will be hung, each representing dozens of missing and murdered Indegenous women.
The installation will involve the collaborative efforts of more than a dozen writers, artists and community members.
To help make this happen, email Heather Ritz.
An art show at Bleeding Heart Art Space will accompany We See.
The show's title is pronounced [kaa kut tuh wus SIS (sit) tsik ISS kway wuck] and means "beautiful women", "women who are beautiful".
The show will open January 30th at 11 AM. An artist talk will take place at 1 PM.
This project has been inspired by the REDress project originated by Jaime Black in Winnipeg.
We are so grateful for her work, and her encouragement of related projects which have taken shape across the country.
Find out more about her original project at http://www.theredressproject.org
We are grateful for the assistance of each of our community partners, without whom 'We see' would not be possible (more to come!)