BIPOC Explored Week II

The REDress Project at the National Museum of the American Indian
The REDress Project was established as a direct result of the missing or murdered Indigenous women of Canada.  This installation is one that has travelled throughout North America to showcase and add visibility to the Indigenous women who’ve had their lives terminated before their time.  The reason that these dresses are placed in very open public places is to raise the awareness of the mass numbers of Indigenous women who have been massacred as a result of violence against women.  To provide an infinite voice to those whispers who’ve been bound tight with wire thread (Black, 2020). 

Roots-Highway-Cry 

why is there a dress on my branch?
   my roots have started to tingle 
       i can feel the agony 
             of their representation 

     although these branches 
         are above ground the ache
              below is a startling reality 

   embers burn through the splash 
        of crimson that elegantly 
               hangs on my branch

      a string of plasma induced 
         hues for a necklace of humiliation
               the fabric brushes against 
                    my trunk and my roots 

    stretch through the land
          in communication with other trees
               to comprehend the definition 
      
        of why it is genuinely necessary 
             to acknowledge all the murdered
                   Indigenous women 

            whose disappearances
                 have been ignored 
                      this loud battle cry 

            can be heard right 
                 through to the tip 
               of the last centimetre         
  
            as they stretch below 
               our glorious terra firma 
                  the levels of compassion
 
                 rise with mother nature’s 
                     claim on this earth 
              made for women 
                  annihilated and diminished
                               by society 

                 i’ll never forget 
                    i will always rise 
                        regardless of those 
                     why attempt to bury 
                            my shell
                        a spirit to haunt 
                                    forever 

References

Amnesty International https://www.amnesty.ca/sites/amnesty/files/iwfa_submission_amnesty_international_february_2014_-_final.pdf        
       
“Newsworthy” Victims? Exploring differences in Canadian local press coverage of missing/murdered Aboriginal and White women By: Kristen Gilchrist
https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.1080/14680777.2010.514110

About the REDress project By: Jamie Black https://indigenousfoundations.arts.ubc.ca/home/

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