Faye HeavyShield with Moving the Mountain Youth

The Shawls Project

Date:           Monday, December 5 until Monday, December 19th, 2016
Location:   Edmonton City Hall, 1 Sir Winston Churchill Square, Edmonton, AB
Opening Reception:  Sunday, December 11, 2016, 1 -2 pm

Youth Artists with Shawls Photo Credit: Eric Kozakiewicz

Youth Artists with Shawls
Photo Credit: Eric Kozakiewicz

The Shawls Project is a community art project involving fancy dance shawls and audio soundscapes of Edmonton’s urban environment. Led by artist Faye HeavyShield and facilitated and curated by Ociciwan Contemporary Art Collective, the youth artists have dedicated this important work to murdered and missing Indigenous women and girls. Centering the shawl as the foundation for the project, the youth explore the shawls’ connection to femininity, and to the strength and grace of Indigenous women. Through the process of art making, materials and narratives, the young artists honour women in their lives and the relationships they share.

The shawls and the process of their making honours the resiliency of these Edmonton-based youth through expressions of their creativity and commitment to healing. Each shawl is individually handcrafted by the artist and installed collectively in Edmonton’s City Hall. The emotional and spiritual qualities of the shawls hold the imbedded motivations of their creators’ desire to share a powerful offering that expresses feelings that were either hidden or put aside, making space for their voices and intentions to be heard.


About the Artists

Faye HeavyShield is of the Blood tribe and is a member of the Kainai Nation. She was born and raised on the Blood Reserve in Southern Alberta. HeavyShield employs memory and knowledge of her heritage and combines it with present day concepts to produce her highly acclaimed minimalist objects and installations. Her works have been exhibited widely and can be found in numerous collections. She currently lives and works in Standoff, Alberta

Moving the Mountain Program is an integrated, holistic and individualized approach to learning that focuses on meeting the learning needs of vulnerable youth through their engagement and self- motivation. Created by Wallis Kendal, in partnership with Harvard University Native American Program since 2012, and more recently, the University of Alberta, Faculties of Education, Native Studies and Educational Psychology, Moving the Mountain is prototyping a model that embraces an embedded curriculum, in contrast to most conventional educational systems.

Moving the Mountain Artists Aimee, Alyssa, Emily, Gia, Jewel, Kayly, Kiera, Kirsten, Liyah, Makaylia, Meagan, Precious, Renee, Richelle, Shona, Shyannah, and Tameka.


This project was produced with the support of the Edmonton Arts Council, Canada Council for the Arts and The City of Edmonton.