No experience needed, volunteers needed.
Joining a movement of other Native Americans living across North America, artist and New Haven resident Kim Weston has dedicated her life’s work to sharing and passing on the stories and traditions of her indigenous ancestors. Her newest installation pairs color photographs from a powwow with 15,000 red prayer bundles, each bundle representing one indigenous woman or girl who was murdered or has gone missing over the last three years. 5,712 cases have been recorded in the U.S. alone, and 10,000 in Canada, although a recent article in the New York Times brings awareness to the unreliability of this number. Thousands of people have been left off of federal missing persons databases, and indigenous women are often misclassified as Hispanic, Asian or other racial categories.
To raise awareness around this urgent issue, which has been “lost in bureaucratic gaps” for generations, Weston needs the help of artists and non-artists alike to craft the 15,000 prayer bundles. She invites community members to join her and her partner, Laura Fuller-Weston, a New Haven resident and native of the Seminole tribe, for a night of storytelling and making. We will gather around a communal table, listening to stories of some of these women, and sharing our own stories, as we build prayer bundles together. Through this collective act, Weston hopes to reinforce the strength and possibilities that reside in the choice to make something together.
The bundles themselves are simple to make, though they are made with intention. Guests may stop by to make a few bundles, or stay with us for the entire evening. Homemade corn and bean soup and beverages will be served.
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This is a great opportunity to learn about a Native American tradition and make a difference in the lives of the women, girls and their families. Every bundle counts. Every prayer is needed.