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The ‘Walking With Our Sisters’ commemorative art installation for missing and murdered Indigenous women featuring ceremonial smudging is currently taking place in the City of Grande Prairie’s shared use Montrose Cultural Centre.
The commemorative art installation is open for viewing at the Art Gallery of Grande Prairie until Thursday, June 14. It features 1808 pairs of moccasin vamps (tops) in recognition of the over 1800 Indigenous women, girls and LGBTQ+ individuals that have been reported missing or murdered in Canada. Moccasins are symbolic for this memorial as they are symbolic of the path a person walks in life and in some traditions, are placed with individuals in death to guide them on their journey to the next life.
Knowledge keepers will be available at the entrance of the exhibit to welcome guests, introduce the exhibit and smudge viewers before and after viewing the exhibit. Smudging is an Indigenous cleansing tradition involving the burning of sage and will occur until the de-installation of the exhibit on June 18. Signage and measures to mitigate the aroma and smoke throughout the facility will be in place until that time.
The City of Grande Prairie is committed to providing an inclusive, respectful, relevant environment recognizing the spiritual needs of its First Nation, Métis and Inuit community. The City recognizes sacred smudging and the burning of sacred medicines respects a traditional practice of the First Nation, Métis and Inuit people and permits smudging of these medicines in some City facilities; subject to appropriate safety measures and procedures.
For more information on the exhibit and the ceremonial protocols to expect, visit the Art Gallery of Grande Prairie website at aggp.ca.
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