Ikwe is a new colouring book by Anishinaabe artist Jackie Traverse. Featuring brand new works, the stunning images in IKWE celebrate the spiritual and ceremonial aspects of women and their important role as water protectors.
“I had the privilege of going to Standing Rock twice. The strength and power that came from the women there inspired this book. To be a woman is to be a life giver and water protector. Even if you never have children, you have that sense, and the duty to honour and protect the water is within you,” writes Traverse. Jackie Traverse is the mother of three daughters and a grandmother to Lily. She is an Anishinaabe multi-disciplined artist working in video, sculpture, mixed media and paint.
About the author
Jackie Traverse, Anishnaabe from Lake St. Martin First Nation, is the mother of three daughters and a grandmother to Lily. She graduated from the School of Art at the University of Manitoba. Her art is multi-media, including video, sculpture, mixed media and paint, and she is known across Canada for her powerful, beautiful work. Her paintings, drawings, documentaries and sculptures speak to realities of being an Indigenous woman. She is committed to her community and teaches art in public schools.
Excerpt: IKWE: Honouring Women, Life Givers, and Water Protectors (by (author) Jackie Traverse)
“I first received Jackie’s colouring book as a gift. I was immediately struck by the feminine strength, beauty and resiliency in her drawings. The teachings she shares in the back of the colouring book add so much spiritual depth to her already powerful work! Hiy hiy mistahi Jackie for sharing your gifts of art and words, along with your cultural teachings with your drawings.
Lynette La Fontaine, Aboriginal nurse educator with Chee Mamuk, BC CDC
“Jackie’s work is that medicine that connects us all to a time when the earth and her women were equally respected as sacred —life givers, leaders, teachers and healers. Her genius is to help make us remember.”
Leslie Spillett, Ka Ni Kanichihk, Winnipeg
“The importance of celebrating Indigenous women and girls’ space and place within our collective journey toward healing, empowerment and reconciliation cannot be overstated. When we, as Indigenous women and girls, see ourselves reflected in positive and powerful ways, it renders emotional and spiritual transformative change in our lives. Jackie’s art, her book and her life fundamentally contribute to the positive imagery of Indigenous women and offers a sacred way to understand one another moving toward reconciliation in Canada.”
Nahanni Fontaine, NDP MLA for St. Johns, Legislative Assembly of Manitoba