In My Heart

Decorative/Traditional arts by Hermina Joldersma

In My Heart is a tribute to all those who participated in the National Inquiry on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls Hermina Joldersma explains, "listening to the moving testimony at the Yellowknife hearings of the MMIWG Inquiry, I was inspired to create a quilt celebrating both the resilience and courage of all those who tell their stories and how their testimony makes it possible for the rest of us to hear and bear witness. I am a non-Indigenous Canadian who has gradually- over decades - became aware of the number of First Nations women who have disappeared or been murdered. I was and still am strongly supportive of having a National Inquiry on this devastating situation. While there has been negative press about the challenges the Inquiry has faced, I believe it has achieved and is achieving its primary purpose: to raise awareness in broader society of this important issue, to officially validate the issue's significance, and to support those who have experienced or been impacted by this violence first hand. In Fall 2017 I was part of the group that was gathered by the Native Women's Association of the NWT to create a quilt to hold the many beaded hearts that had been made to honour missing and murdered women in the north. This quilt, completed by many hands over several months, formed the backdrop for testimony in Yellowknife. Listening to people's moving and dignified testimony, I was struck by the way in which the simple fact of the Inquiry's existence and work has shone light on this devastating situation for all of us in different ways. My piece is intended to capture that emerging light and to express that I care deeply, by combining standard ""white woman's quilting"" with beading learned from the Beaded Hearts project." Special thanks for inspiration: The Beaded Hearts Quilt Project of the Native Women's Association of the NWT My fellow Yellowknife quilters