Red Amautiit exhibit at Winnipeg Art Gallery commemorates missing and murdered Inuit women and girls


The Manitoba Inuit Association launched a “Red Amautiit” exhibition lately in Winnipeg.

The venture got here after the National Inquiry on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls. Several Inuit women made amautiit to showcase at the Winnipeg Art Gallery.

Gayle Gruben, who works for the Manitoba Inuit Association (MIA) and was the venture supervisor, stated although she could not attend the occasion attributable to sickness, she did watch it just about. 

“And it was spectacular,” she stated. “The audio system … recommended us on what we now have completed and what we had been in a position to do for our Inuit who had been impacted by missing and murdered women and girls.”

The amauti is a conventional Inuit women’s parka used for carrying infants. The design of the amauti differs throughout Inuit Nunangat, with some utilizing completely different colors and elaborations. The “Red Amauti” has grow to be a logo of remembrance of the Inuit women, girls and 2SLGBTQQIA+ individuals who have been misplaced to violence.

The opening of the exhibition was on the night of Oct. 21 at the gallery’s Qaumajuq part. Gruben stated her group invited Inuit in the neighborhood together with dignitaries that supported them via the venture. The exhibition runs till Nov. 7. Entry is free for Inuit.

Gruben stated the exhibition was type of an “finish” element of the venture.

The begin of it got here when the National Inquiry Into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls got here to Manitoba in 2017 for household hearings. She stated households had “urgently appealed” to MIA for help for members of the family. In response, MIA created a gathering place, which supplied outreach, trauma-informed counselling, translation and cultural providers, referrals, advocacy, conventional therapeutic and different helps.

Gayle Gruben holds a poster studying “In honour of my mother, Sarah Ovayuak.” Gruben works for the Manitoba Inuit Association as director of missing Inuit kids of residential faculties. (Submitted by Gayle Gruben)

Through that engagement got here a women’s stitching group in Winnipeg, Gruben stated, which consisted of households and associates who had been impacted by the MMIWG. The workshops supplied a conventional approach to grieve, Gruben stated.

“So, as women expertise and participate of their tradition via Inuit stitching practices, they start to really feel protected and snug sufficient to discuss their experiences of shedding their family members,” she stated.

She stated a lot of the funding for the venture got here from the federal authorities’s Women and Gender Equality Canada department.

Though the Red Amautiit venture is completed, Gruben continues to be working to determine kids who went to residential faculties in Manitoba, and is beginning a brand new position for MIA because the director of missing Inuit kids of residential faculties, a brand new program for the group. 

She’ll be serving to attain out to teams just like the Truth and Reconciliation Commission, the University of Manitoba and the Hudson’s Bay firm archives for potential data on Inuit kids who might have attended any of the 18 former residential faculties in Manitoba. 

“So we’re simply ready for agreements from numerous archival areas and data holders in order that we could possibly begin researching and making a database of youngsters who might haven’t made it dwelling or might have perished,” she stated.

Then, they’re going to be working with households to get route on learn how to proceed — for instance, whether or not it is repatriation or commemoration. 

“We wish to be certain that no baby is forgotten,” Gruben stated. “And, in the event that they did not make it dwelling, that it is necessary for us to work with the households to have one thing for them to have closure.”


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