Welcome to Sisters Rising

Sisters Rising has concluded a wonderful six years of work with hundreds of Indigenous youth, community members, and knowledge keepers from over sixteen different Indigenous communities in BC. We are incredibly grateful for our partnerships with these communities, and for the vital stories, teachings and transformative work generated through our arts- and land/water-based workshops and initiatives. We have started a new project called Kinship Rising. We invite you to visit us at our new website kinshiprising.uvic.ca

We extend our gratitude to all involved in Sisters Rising and send out good medicine for healing and resurgence.

 

Testimonials

“My dream is that First Nations girls can walk home alone without fear”

Sisters Rising Participant

“Feeling isolated, feeling empty, having heartbreak, feeling anxious, my sadness turns into anger”

Sisters Rising Participant

 

Sisters Rising Video

 

Welcome to Sisters Rising

Sisters Rising responds to the need for Indigenous-led responses to gender-based violence. It is an arts-based, Indigenous project with Indigenous girls, young women, and youth of all genders in Indigenous communities on B.C.’s west coast. Our focus is on challenging the victim-blaming climate of racialized gender violence by re-centering Indigenous values and teachings and linking body sovereignty to decolonization and land sovereignty.

We use artwork, storytelling and multi-media including digital collages, photography and video. Workshop topics might include youth vision for a strong community; supporting dignity, wellbeing and leadership; cultural healing; being on the land; healthy relationships; consent; secrecy and silencing; how, where and why gendered and sexualized violence happens; lateral and systemic violence; engaging with youth of all genders about sexual and gender violence; and understanding and interrupting the historical colonial roots of violence.

A lot of our work takes place on the land, with land-based materials, and with knowledge keepers. In past workshops, Elders joined youth participants to share teachings about gender (such as coming-of-age ceremonies) and guided participants with stories and teachings related to their specific heritage, such as learning language, making family and clan crests, picking berries, making traditional wool headbands, weaving cedar and upholding stories. Elders shared that these practices are central to body and gender wellbeing.

What we have heard from participants so far is that fear, stigma, and lack of effective responses all perpetuate the silence and isolation that surround gender-based violence. In turn, silence and denial are rooted in persistent systemic barriers: High rates of intersecting gendered, sexualized and racialized poverty, lack of services and infrastructure, colonial policies such as the Indian Act , residential schools and land appropriation, and continued colonial violence across social systems all perpetuate gender-based violence. In workshop after workshop, one important vision has been shared by participants: the need to honor community- and youth-generated responses that support inter-generational connections, the resurgence of Indigenous teachings of gender wellbeing, and self-determination over both bodies and homelands.

 To our ancestors, communities, families, and everyone who has contributed to Sisters Rising, we are so grateful.

 

We raise our hands to our ancestors and all our relations, to those who have survived and to those who were stolen, and to all of those who grieve, resist, and walk in dignity through pain and resurgence.

For more information, please contact:

Dr. Sandrina de Finney

Associate Professor

School of Child and Youth Care

Email Address

sistersrising@uvic.ca
sdefinn@uvic.ca

Location

University of Victoria
Coast Salish Territories
Victoria, B.C. Canada