Gift for Chalmers

Nick SteinbergNews

Gift for Chalmers 

Helena Neveu, a proud Ojibway woman from the Batchewana First Nation in Northern Ontario, and a member of the crane clan, and the Knowledge Keeper in Residence for St. Lawrence College presented Chalmers with the gift pictured here.

The Joint Truth and Reconciliation Action Group (JTRAG) hosted an online reading group in the spring of 2022, focused on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls. Helena was a participant in the group and like all of us, was moved by the content of the texts we were reading and the stories we were hearing.

One of the projects we learned about was a commemorative art installation called Walking with our Sisters that came about through the inspiration of artist, Christi Belcourt. For over a year, Christi collected over 2,000 pairs of vamps (the beaded top part of moccasins) made by Indigenous women all over Canada. They were to represent the unfinished lives of the hundreds of women and girls who had gone missing and had been murdered. Christi assembled them so that families, relations and allies could “walk with our sisters”.

In gratitude to the congregations hosting the reading group, Helena arranged for hand-made frames to be made, and created pictures representing three of the vamps from the Walking with Our Sisters project. She gifted these pictures to Chalmers, Faith and Sydenham Street United Churches at the joint service on the Indigenous Day of Prayer, June 19, 2022.