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Missing and murdered Indigenous women remembered at Ryerson

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By Sidney Drmay

From Nov. 21 to Nov. 23, the Image Arts building on Ryerson’s campus lit up in shades of red for the support of missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls, transgender and two-spirited people.

The initiative was brought to campus by Upwind Productions, a group of eight media production students at Ryerson producing the Shades of Our Sisters installation set to open on Feb. 17, 2017. Shades of Our Sisters focuses on the stories on Sonya Cywink and Patricia Carpenter, two of the 1,200+ missing and murdered Indigenous women.

One of the students involved is Josh Howe, fourth-year RTA media production student who is the marketing director and finance manager for Shades of Our Sisters.

“We’re looking to change how these stories are told in the media, and the lens the stories are told through, enabling and empowering [the families] to tell these stories so that it’s not told on their behalf of them by a third party,” Howe said.

Upwind Productions have been working closely with Joyce Carpenter and Alex Cywink to create an exhibit that will celebrate the women’s lives.

“It’s going to tell her [Patricia Carpenter’s] story from when she was born until she was taken from us,” Carpenter said. “To tell her story from when she was born, when she lived with me, when she went to school, her brothers, her late father, her son who she only got to be with for six weeks.”

Upwind Productions hopes to educate and inform as many young people as possible on Ryerson campus as well as on the reserves that Cywink and Carpenter are from through Shades of Our Sisters.

“I want them to hear my daughter’s story,” Carpenter said.

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