The Legacy Archive is an archive that collected artistic expressions, either through donations (from family members of missing and murdered loved ones, intergenerational survivors and those working towards reconciliation), education projects or acquisitions from artists and storytellers with an interest in the subject.
Each piece tells a story and represents the ability to share and preserve Indigenous culture and knowledge. Each piece stands as a place where one’s truth and experience is revealed, as a tool to fight racism and resist colonial beliefs, and as a platform to raise awareness about Indigenous issues and encourage activism. Artistic expressions allow artists to share their voices and participate on an emotional level their thoughts and knowledge about the crisis of missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls and Two-Spirit people. The Archive’s collection affords opportunities for healing and commemoration for Indigenous people who have suffered from the trauma caused by colonialism.
The National Inquiry collected works for the Archive for over two years and now this process is complete. The collection features 433 pieces created by 819 people. It is a diverse collection which includes digital music, written poetry, canvas paintings, etched art, books, quilts, and various craft pieces. Highlights includes a miniature red river cart, a sacred rattle, a turtle medicine bag, a variety of Métis sashes, Miskwaabimaag (sacred red willow baskets), a Star Blanket with dream catcher and talking stick, and a statue with 1200 polished stones featuring the names of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls carved into them.
In the future, people worldwide will be able to learn and engage with this art, physically or digitally. The Inquiry hopes the art can be used for outreach, education and research purposes in the hopes that the nation, and globally, people can learn and take action against the injustices against Indigenous women and girls, as well as members of the 2SLGBTQQIA communities by taking on the recommendations that will be put forward by the National Inquiry.