#MMIW, #MeToo art show at NSU honors women, survivors
The “Breaking the Silence: #MMIW #MeToo” art exhibit sits in the mezzanine on the second floor of the John Vaughan Library on the Northeastern State University campus in Tahlequah. The exhibit was set to run the entire month of April in conjunction with the 47th annual Symposium on the American Indian. LINDSEY BARK/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
“Lost, Stolen, Never forgotten” submitted by Megan McDermott (Blackfeet/Plains Cree) depicts a girl amid dying trees and in a field of poppies, a metaphor for the link between girls and women and drug trafficking is one of several art pieces in the “Breaking the Silence: #MMIW #MeToo” art exhibit in the John Vaughan Library at Northeastern State University in Tahlequah. LINDSEY BARK/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
Angelina Pakali York (Choctaw) submitted “Lost, Missing, Murdered Sisters,” a colored graphite/pencil/marker drawing in remembrance of Native women taken from their families in the “Breaking the Silence: #MMIW #MeToo” art exhibit. LINDSEY BARK/CHEROKEE PHOENIX
TAHLEQUAH – In conjunction with Northeastern State University’s 47th annual Symposium on the American Indian to “Celebrate Indigenous Women,” the college’s Center for Tribal Studies, Special Collections and Violence Prevention department opened the “Breaking the Silence: #MMIW #MeToo” art exhibit at the John Vaughan Library.
More than a hashtag, Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women is a mission among Indigenous groups across the United States and Canada to bring awareness and action in the epidemic of its namesake. The #MeToo is a movement founded in recent years to create conversations surrounding sexual assault and violence and help survivors heal from experiences.
The art exhibit features various artist’s and advocates’ works and allows them to “explore, illustrate, and voice their story, their narrative, and their truth,” according to the show’s program.
The exhibit features more than 35 pieces from 28 artists comprised of NSU students as well as local and nationwide artists.
Megan McDermott (Blackfeet/Plains Cree) painted “Lost, Stolen, Never forgotten,” which was inspired by her family and a novel titled “Prayer for the Stolen.” Her painting is of a young girl surrounded by dying trees and poppies, which are metaphors of links between girls and women and drug trafficking.
Angelina Pakali York (Choctaw) submitted “Lost, Missing, Murdered Sisters,” a colored graphite/pencil/marker drawing in remembrance of Native women taken from their families. The drawing displays a telephone pole at a crossroads with posters tacked to it with the faces of missing or murdered Indigenous women.
“We the Indigenous people need to be aware of our surroundings and issues. So many Indigenous people have been murdered and no justice has been served, and those stolen or missing haven’t been found. I am a father to three beautiful children, a son to a loving mother, a brother and an uncle. We should never stop looking, never give up until they are found or justice is served,” Keith Jim, who submitted a piece titled “Moment of Silence” in honor of MMIW, said.
As the symposium sought to celebrate Indigenous women for their contributions and success to Native communities, the art show acknowledges the “prevalence of sexual assault and violence and of the number of missing and murdered Indigenous women,” the show’s program states.
The art exhibit was set to run through April 30 of the John Vaughan Library’s second floor.