For a group of young painters and artists in the city of Whitehorse, Yukon, walls have transformed into canvases for a series of murals they’re spending the summer creating. The mural project was dreamed up by local drop-in centre the Youth of Today Society to showcase the work of the centre’s artists and provide local youth an opportunity to practice art and contribute to a community initiative. The murals feature Indigenous art as well as other styles and each has a theme related to reconciliation.
Our short film Missing, Murdered and Remembered focuses on the creation of one mural and the team behind it. The theme of the mural is missing and murdered Indigenous women (MMIW) and it features the faces of Wendy and Angel Carlick – a mother and daughter who lived in Whitehorse and were murdered in two separate incidents.
According to a 2014 RCMP report, 1,181 Indigenous women have gone missing or been murdered in Canada. Other estimates by federal cabinet ministers and Indigenous women’s groups put that number closer to 4,000. The MMIW mural is about remembering, healing, and coming together as a community to learn from the past and build a better future. It commemorates two of the women who have been lost to this crisis and honours Indigenous cultures that have survived. We followed this piece of street art from paper to chalk to paint on an Ogilvie Street wall over the course of several weeks.
We met Lance Burton, Ali Khoda, Melia Hudgin, Chief Doris Bill and many others who we weren’t able to include in our film, and we listened to their stories. We are so thankful we were able to bear witness to all of this.