With the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls in the news, it’s timely that we’ve released this short video made in collaboration with Hello Cool World Media and VACPC.
Na’tsa’mat, a healing journey, explores different ways of healing from trauma, through traditions, through dance and through counselling. This short film takes a gentle strengths-based approach to difficult subject matter.
“We’re talking about Indigenous women, who are some of the most marginalized people in our country. We really need to not stereotype them, they need to be seen as individuals, as real people.” ~ Billie Jeanne Sinclair
Sinclair shares a deeply personal example of how important this is. When her aunt Georgina Papin went missing, the images that were shown on the media stereotyped her. Na’tsa’mat co-director Jada-Gabrielle Pape says: “I have used this example in cultural safety workshops, how Georgina Papin’s mug shot was used instead of reaching out to her family, to those who loved her, to find a photo that represents her life.” This is what Sinclair is doing, with her Butterflies in Spirit tee shirt she shows her aunt’s image as the beaufiful, gregarious, lively women her family thinks of when they remember her.
Butterlies in Spirit dance group founder, and Na’tsa’mat program coordintor Lorelei Williams talks about how important and moving it is to give dancers, all family members of missing and murdered women and girls, shirts with these beautiful images of their loved ones. It’s a way to honour their memory, and as Sinclair pointed out, to humanize them as ‘real people.” Women who were mothers, sisters, daughters, aunts, neices. women who were loved by many.
Norm Leech, ED of VACPC recognizes that with the inquiry, it’s a critical time to address the traumas that are going to be re-triggered.
“How do we find and seek justice in a society that just doesn’t see it?”
~ Norm Leech
“Our people have been through so much trauma, and what we want to get at is healing the trauma.”
~ Lorelei Williams
“I’m absolutely amazed by the resilience and inner strength of our Indigenous community.”
~ Lillian Howard