THE Gynocratic Art Gallery

value the brain & cut the priviledge

April 2016- The ceremony of Walking With Our Sisters

Walking With Our Sisters is currently on exhibition at Brandon University until March 6th.

The exhibition Walking With Our Sisters was first conceived of by artist Christi Belcourt (Metis). The exhibition (Belcourt explains that it is effectively more of a ceremony than a traditional exhibition) opened in Edmonton (AB) and has travelled to Yellowknife (NT), Akwesasne First Nation (ON). It is currently in Red Deer (AB) with more stops possible in the future.

What follows here is not a review of the work, rather it is an attempt to feature the piece and, offer a collective of reports written on the installation. – The GAG

“Art is a catalyst for social change,” Mattes, who also makes vamps, added. “It can educate, it can engage, it can make communities stronger.” –Cathy Mattes.

CBC: Art installation paying tribute to MMIW stops in Brandon next month

Anishinabek News

CBC: 1700 unfinished pairs of moccasins memorialize the missing and murdered

CBC: Walking With Our Sisters memorial for murdered and missing indigenous women drawing crowds in Ottawa

CBC: Walking With Our Sisters Exhibition Opens Today in Yellowknife

Native Peoples Magazine


BorderCrossings Magazine

Facebook: Walk With Our Sisters

In connection with the exhibition Walking With Our Sisters, The GAG would like to bring into the conversation the important and insightful work of indigenous elder, author, poet and academic Lee Maracle. Maracle is the author of many books including Daughters are Forever , First Wives Club: Coast Salish Style and most recently, Celia’s Song

“Artists change the ‘normal’”. -Lee Maracle

Various sources across the internet describe Maracle’s important book Daughters Are Forever in the following way: The novel incorporates an innovative structure based on Salish Nation storytelling to depict the transformation of Marilyn, a modern-day Native woman who is alienated from her culture, family and self. By listening to the wind and the natural world, Marilyn begins to heal the deep-rooted, inherited hurt that has numbed her life-force. This is a moving and important work about First Nations people in the modern world, and the importance of courage, truth and reconciliation.

Michael Enright called on Maracle to speak about the Truth and Reconciliation hearings on the CBC’s Sunday Edition. A thoughtful discussion which you can hear here. And, in pairing a piece of Maracle’s poetry to the topic of missing and murdered aboriginal women, we include Lee Maracle’s bold and direct poem War below.


In my body flows the blood of Gallic

Bastille stormers and the soft, gentle

ways of Salish/Cree womanhood.


Deep throated base tones dissipate,

swallowed by the earth; uproarious

laughter sears, mutilates my voice.


Child of the earth-tear of west

coast rain; dew drop sparkling in

the crisp, clear sun of my home.


Warm woman of the Mediterranean sunscape,

bleaching rough cotton-sweatshop



Thunderous, rude earthquakes that

split my spirit within. Tiny grapes

of wine console me.


Can I deny a heritage blackened by

the toil of billions, conceived in

rape, plunder and butchery?


In the veins, that fight to root themselves

in the wondrous breadth of my

homeland, races the blood of base



European thief; liar, bloodsucker.

I deny you not. I fear you not. Your

reality and mine no longer rankles me.


I am moved by my love for human life;

by the firm conviction that all the world

must stop the butchery, stop the slaughter.


I am moved by my scars, by my own filth

to re-write history with my body

to shed the blood of those who betray themselves


To life, world humanity I ascribe

To my people… my history… I address

my vision.


-Lee Maracle, “War” from Bent Box.



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