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Advertise With Us PHOTO BY EVA WASNEY By Eva Wasney STAFF REPORTER St. JAmes Crestview In between assignment reminders and quiz dates, there is a list of 10 names scrawled on the whiteboard in Tara Tuchsherer’s classroom. They are the names of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls in Manitoba and soon, each will be commemorated by a small felt doll. The St. James Collegiate teacher has embarked on the Faceless Doll Project with her First Nations, Métis and Inuit studies class. The initiative was started by the Native Women’s Association of Canada as a way of representing MMIWG “who have become ‘faceless’ victims of crime.” The dolls Tuchsherer’s students are creating are far from faceless, however. “Now there’s over 1,000 missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls in Canada, so we’re trying to focus on the ones in Manitoba,” she said, referring to numbers released by the RCMP in 2014. “They’re doing a bit of research about a woman and then incorporating three things about her life and who she was into their doll — it’s much more personal.” One side of the doll will be the students’ representation and on the other side will be wearing a red dress. Earlier this month, Tuchsherer’s students and a group from John Taylor Collegiate, who are also working on the project, met with Point Douglas NDP MLA Bernadette Smith and REDress Project creator Jaime Black to learn about the issue of MMIWG in Canada. During the workshop, Smith shared the story of her sister Claudette Osborne-Tyo, who has been missing since 2008. “From Bernadette, I understand how much it hurts, I wouldn’t wish that upon anyone,” Grade 11 St. James student Tessa Traverse said. CONTINUED on page 4 Continued from page 3 Traverse is Ojibwe from Jackhead First Nation in northern Manitoba and had to leave her community in Grade 9 to attend high school in Winnipeg. She is making a doll for Felicia Velvet Solomon, a 16-year-old from Norway House Cree Nation who was murdered in Winnipeg in 2003. “She was also living in Winnipeg too when this happened, so she was in the same situation I’m in right now,” said Traverse, who is also 16. In her research, she found out that Solomon was a powwow dancer who loved writing and the colours blue and pink. “I kind of went deep into it to try and understand,” Traverse said. “I know she was very outgoing and bright, so I was thinking of using bright colours and patterns — not dull colours.” Traverse said the Faceless Doll project is a way to remember each of the women lost and call attention to the ongoing issue of MMIWG. “We’re not going to just let them be forgotten.” Grade 12 student Jake Kilgour decided to take Tuchsherer’s First Nations, Métis and Inuit studies class as an elective to learn more about the country’s history and relationship with Indigenous people. “I knew the basics, but I didn’t know the history of it, I didn’t know what was happening now,” he said. “I’ve learned so much.” Kilgour is making a doll for Melissa Chaboyer, 35, who lived in Thompson and was murdered in 2005. Chaboyer was a dedicated foster parent and single mother of one son. “She used to drive a taxi between October and December to try and raise money to buy her kids presents for Christmas,” he said. “That’s what I was trying to get across with this doll, showing how compassionate she was.” Between St. James and John Taylor there are about 80 students making roughly 100 felt […]

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