I had the opportunity to go to Downtown Toronto, for a field trip to the Shades of our Sisters exhibit held at the Ryerson Student Centre. Luckily, we got the first viewing of the documentaries and the exhibition.
For those of, of you who have not heard about this, I’ll give you some background information. They are a group of individuals working on this project in order to honor the memory of 2 missing and murdered indigenous girls, Sonya Cywink and Patricia Carpenter. This project is an installation which tells the stories of these two young women This project was brought together by eight students from Ryerson University who are working with the Cynwink and Carpenter families.
We were able to view 2 documentaries of both the young women’s lives as well as look at artifacts and memorabilia of these women. This project brought me to tears as we viewed the documentary featuring the families grieving. One distinct part I remember from the documentary is hearing one of Sonya’s poems, it instantly brought me to tears. Throughout the exhibit, there were poems, childhood dolls, clothing, home videos, tapes, and more. Through these items, the viewers received another perspective of the lives of these women. The leaves in the display were designed by students across Ontario.
The viewers of the exhibit received both moose hide and a tobacco tie. The moose hide represents one’s commitment to honour, respect, and protect the women and children in one’s life and to work together with other men to end violence against women and children. Furthermore, the tobacco ties are thought to signify, prayers as well as a physical manifestation of a prayer.
I am glad that my classmates and I were able to support a wonderful cause. I give my condolences and warmest wishes to the families of these young women.
– XOXO chana