Honouring Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls

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Portrait of Patience Commanda, (Miikinwash) from Rama First Nation © Chief Lady Bird
Cherish Violet Blood, Deer Woman © Andy Moro

February 14 is a day to honour the lives of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA (Two-spirit, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Questioning, Intersex and Asexual) people, and acknowledge the grassroots initiatives that continue to raise awareness and engage a variety of voices in the discussions that will drive reconciliation in Canada.

Together, we must reflect on this continuing crisis across Canada and commit to taking daily steps to effect change.

In Canada, Indigenous women and girls face disproportionately high rates of violence. In 2019, the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls released its final report and issued 231 calls for justice. We especially encourage our non-Indigenous audiences to read the final report, and consider what calls to justice are you activating in your life. 

“No one is, or should be, untouched by this genocide.”

Ntlaka'pamux and Irish Canadian playwright Tara Beagan

This week, bringing attention to this national crisis, we’re presenting an online broadcast of Tara Beagan’s play Deer Woman.

In her play Deer Woman, Tara Beagan fearlessly examines this genocide, and the accumulated sorrow and rage families have felt in the pursuit for justice. 

As Beagan explains:  “Deer Woman is my attempt to tell a story I hope inspires a feeling of empowerment as well as acknowledging the rage families have felt at being powerless to seek justice. No one is, or should be, untouched by this genocide.” 

Deer Woman is a one-woman story of righteous vengeance created by ARTICLE 11 (Indigenous Arts Activist Creation and Production Company). Lila, a proud Blackfoot woman, is serving abroad for the Canadian Armed Forces, when she learns her younger sister has been murdered. She returns to Canada, determined to take justice into her own hands to avenge her sister’s murder while exercising skills taught by the Canadian government.

An online broadcast of Deer Woman is available to watch on the NAC website, at any time of day, on-demand, from Sunday, February 14, 2021 at 10 am EST, until Sunday February 21, 2021 at 11:59 pm EST.

Please note: Deer Woman contains extreme, graphic, historical and contemporary violence, disturbing content and descriptions of sexual violence. Restricted to ages 16+.

If you find yourself in need of emotional support, please see our collection of mental health resources and helplines

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