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Photo by libby stoker-lavelle

Photo by libby stoker-lavelle

Kelly Asmus chooses beads to stitch onto her vamp.

In spring 2013, a beading group began meeting at the Flin Flon Friendship Centre to create vamps for Walking With Our Sisters

By the July 2013 deadline Belcourt had received almost three times her goal. Vamps poured in from beading groups and individuals across North America. Others trickled in soon after, bringing the total number of vamps to 1,763 pairs. Each pair, and indeed each vamp, is a unique piece of artwork. Some are embroidered on fabric, others are beaded on animal skins. Some vamps were made with a particular woman in mind, and many use symbolism that is deeply meaningful to the creator of the vamp. While some professional artists created vamps for Walking With Our Sisters, most of the artwork you’ll see at the exhibit has been made by regular people who, with a simple act of love, have contributed to a powerful act of remembrance. Over 1,300 individuals put their heart, their prayers, and their

fingers to work for Walking With Our Sisters. I asked my beading instructor, Kelly Asmus, why she decided to take part in Walking with our Sisters. “I want something to be done about these women,” she said, as she beaded an inuksuk onto a denim swatch of fabric. “It is such a tragedy. In this vamp, I am sending my deepest prayers to these women.” Indeed, the need to “do something” is a comment I heard from many participants in the exhibit when I asked them why they felt compelled to take part. “There are a lot of good people out there who care about this issue,” says Belcourt. “They don’t want women to be murdered in their country. They care, but they have no outlet to express that. This provides a way for them to contribute.”

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Cottage North July-August 2014  

Cottage North July-August 2014