Three billboards are being raised in B.C., including along the Highway of Tears, to bring attention to the thousands of missing and murder Indigenous women and girls.
Created by Artists Against Racism, the project follows the final report from the inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls released earlier this month, which detailed a deliberate and persistent pattern of abuses against Indigenous women, girls, two-spirited people and LGBTG2+ individuals that can only be described as a genocide.
Each billboard features work by Indigenous artists, including pieces by Loretta Gould and Colleen Gray. A total of 12 signs will appear across Canada for a week, coinciding with National Indigenous Peoples Day on Friday.
Two billboards have been erected in the province already: The first along Highway 5 in Kamloops, and the second on Scott Road, south of Larson Road, in Surrey.
The third, in Prince George, will be installed on Monday along Highway 16, also known as the Highways of Tears for its link to the disappearances and murders of dozens of Aboriginal women along its 720 kilometres between Prince George and Prince Rupert.
That billboard features Maxine Noel’s Not Forgotten, which she created to remember and honour the spirits and presence of Aboriginal women and girls.
According to her website, Noel’s piece of art is her way fighting to end violence against Aboriginal women and girls throughout Canada.
“In this painting, Not Forgotten, I speak to that wonder and beauty and tragedy,” Noel, who is a member of the Sioux Nation, says on her website. “To capture both the wonder and the tragedy, I wanted to include motifs which connect with all the places and our peoples live.”
Other billboards can be seen in Halifax, Montreal, Toronto, Thunder Bay and Winnipeg.
With a file from The Canadian Press