Since 2016, Bridge: Honouring the Lives of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls, and Two Spirit People has become an annual installation for 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence at the University of Waterloo.
Opening Ceremony: Monday, November 25 at 10:30 am – 11:00 am; starting with a sacred fire ceremony to burn the ties from the previous year. The installation of the red ties for this year will be ongoing throughout the opening day (to 4pm) and over the course of the 16 Days. Closing Ceremony and De-installation takes place on Tuesday, December 10.
Working collaboratively with the Waterloo Indigenous Student Centre (WISC) Sorouja Moll, Ph.D initiated Bridge from the Writing Names Project (Montreal, 2009). The work creates a space for all University community members to learn about the crisis as they reflect upon their responsibilities, positionality, and advocacy, as individuals write a name on red fabric, and tie it to the bridge between Environment 3 and St. Paul's University College. Following scholar Sarah Stillman’s (2007) approach to media activism the work engages the ‘diagnostic’ to provide a cultural vocabulary (naming) that resists erasure generated from media bias, colonial policies, and dehumanized statistics; the ‘theatrical’ revives disenfranchised lives in the public imagination; and the ‘archaeological’ to dig proactively for the human stories that have been buried beyond the margins (491). The gesture to name and remember the 4000+ missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls, and Two Spirit people in Canada is an active engagement in learning about the profound depth of the crisis in Canada while refusing the existing apathy that continues to shroud historical and present day violence. As such, this research-creation initiative is a counter memorial and is part of a meaningful, sustained, and collaborative intercultural practice between non-Indigenous and Indigenous communities.
190 Westmount Road North
Waterloo, ON N2L 3G5