‘Shades of Our Sisters’ exhibit comes to the Keele Campus


Shades of Our Sisters is a dynamic, moving and thought-provoking exhibit and online experience that honours the lives of Indigenous women, girls, Transgender and Two-Spirited Peoples (MMIWGT2S) who have been murdered or are missing in Canada.

Named by the families of Patricia Carpenter and Sonya Nadine Mae Cywink, Shades of Our Sisters originates from an old Ojibwe story. Within this teaching, the shades are said to be what is left behind on Earth when a person’s spirit passes to the land of their ancestors. The exhibit exists with the purpose of honouring MMIWGT2S and empowering families to celebrate the lives of their loved ones. The exhibit is a space to come together as a community and actively become a part of reconciliation, supporting MMIWGT2S families in their healing journey and understanding the importance of violence prevention.

Shades of Our Sisters continues to grow and include more families in celebrating the lives of their loved ones. Within this exhibit there is now a celebration of the life of Tammy Lynn Lamondin-Gagnon.

The exhibit is on display at the Keele Campus for a limited engagement and is made possible through a collaboration between York University’s Centre for Sexual Violence Response, Support & Education and the Centre for Aboriginal Student Services.

Part of the Shades of Our Sisters exhibit features Feathers for Our Women, a Canada-wide outreach initiative aimed towards youth to raise awareness about Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls, Transgender and Two-Spirited Peoples. Pictured is a centrepiece created by Cree artist Waylon Goodwin from Kashechewan First Nations

The exhibit, which opened March 9, continues to March 13 and is located in the second-floor atrium of the Scott Library.

Shades of Our Sisters challenges visitors to understand the breadth and depth of the loss of Indigenous women, girls, Trans and Two-Spirited Peoples in Canada

Shades of Our Sisters, which should not be missed, seeks to challenge Canadians to realize the injustice of this national tragedy through the stories of the  young Indigenous women who were tragically taken. The Cywink and Carpenter families provided the guidance and inspiration for the exhibit, which includes treasured personal artifacts from their lives. The exhibit also features short video and audio pieces and two 20-minute films.

Community members will have an opportunity to get to know the lost women through artifacts from their lives that were provided by their families

York University community members are invited to get to know the young women as their families knew them – joyous young women who were strong and resilient. Shades of Our Sisters will transport visitors into the grief, love and laughter of the families who are sharing the memories of their loved ones and what the loss of their lives means.

To learn more, visit the Shades of Our Sisters website.