Our mothers and daughters, our sisters and aunties and grandmother. Our women are our heart and our spirit, always honoured, never forgotten.
I am Dakota Sioux, a woman and mother, and an artist. These are inseparable facets of who I am and how I live in the world. That world, the world we all live and move in, is a place of great and terrible beauty, of wonder, and of tragedy. In this painting I speak to that wonder and beauty and tragedy.
To capture both the wonders and the tragedy, I wanted to include motifs which connect with all the places our peoples live. Turning first to the West Coast peoples, I am honoured to have been allowed to include the moon image of my friend, artist and visionary Roy Henry Vickers, an image I first encountered in his illustrations for Dave Bouchard’s The Elders Are Watching. From the North,
I incorporated the image of Sedna, the source of all the creatures of the sea. I have always been drawn to the shell and bead work of the Maliseet and other East Coast peoples and in this painting have echoed the fluidity and grace of their compelling designs. And then me two feathers. acknowledging the Metis, and the peoples of the grasslands and woodlands, of the plains and the forests.
Finally, the floating figures throughout the painting are the spirits and the presence of the missing and murdered women.
Missing but never lost.
Always present, always remembered.
~ Maxine Noel / loyan Mani
Partial proceeds from the sale of this image will be donated to the Native Women’s Association of
Canada and their “Sisters In Spirit” Project. For more information, visit www.nwac.ca.