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Walking With Our Sisters

January 14, 2017 - February 1, 2017

Year 2017
Walking With Our Sisters (2017)

Walking With Our Sisters is a commemoration honouring missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls and Two-Spirited people through ceremony, community and reflection. It presents more than 1800 pairs of moccasin tops (vamps) made by contributing artists. The moccasins are unfinished, symbolizing over 1180 sisters, mothers, aunties, daughters, cousins, grandmothers, wives and partners whose lives were tragically cut short over the last thirty years. Many have vanished without a trace, and their cases have often been inadequately investigated, neglected or ignored.

The vamps are arranged on the floor in a winding formation and visitors remove their shoes to walk alongside them on a pathway of cloth, to show solidarity and respect. Organized by local Elders and volunteers and guided by the Walking With Our Sisters National Collective, this community-based project holds space for ceremony and healing. Those who are gone were cared for, they were loved, and they are not forgotten.

Information For Visitors

Walking With Our Sisters is a memorial. The project is guided by local Elders and community members, and informed by traditional protocols and acts of ceremony. As such, footwear is to be removed before entering the ceremonial space. It is traditional for women to wear skirts in ceremony; skirts are available to borrow if desired. All visitors will be asked to carry a (provided) tobacco tie while walking through the memorial, and deposit it in a box at the end of the visit. The tobacco from this box is burned daily, sending visitors’ prayers to the Sisters. Additionally, sage is frequently burnt within the space. This is known as smudging. While there will be extra ventilation in place, some of the scent and smoke remain, cleansing the space for the Sisters.


Grants from Arts Nova Scotia and the Halifax Regional Municipality are gratefully acknowledged. We also thank these generous contributors: Calvin Presbyterian Church, Mission & Outreach; Government Services Union-PSAC; Kairos Ottawa; Kairos Halifax; Public Service Alliance of Canada; PSAC Area Council; The Sisters of Charity; Women’s Community Space and YWCA Halifax.


Interview with Metis artist Christi Belcourt on Walking with our Sisters WWOS