Mi’kmaw peak caps a loving tribute to Indigenous women killed by violence

Family members of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls have designed Mi’kmaw peak caps in honour of loved ones whose lives were taken by violence.

The project by Women of First Light, a non-profit organization in Nova Scotia, has wrapped up after first being put on hold due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The project began in 2019 in the Mi’kmaq First Nation community of Millbrook.

Natalie Gloade started it on March 8, 2019 to commemorate her mother, who died by violence in 2007. About 30 community members and supporters became involved.

“We need to stand up, we need to speak our truth, and even if you shake speak your truth,” said Gloade of the need to advocate on behalf of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls (MMIWG).

This peak cap was made by Gina Poulette in memory of Cassidy Bernard, who was a victim of intimate partner violence. Photo: Angel Moore/APTN News

Photos of the caps are on display – not the caps themselves, because they are considered sacred objects by the women who created them.

Karen Bernard helped the women design the caps.

“A lot of energy from a person that has created them in memory of that individual, is sacred,” she said.

“You just don’t touch those, and that’s why they’ve been photographed.”

The photos of the peak caps are hoped to be displayed in a museum as part of raising awareness of MMIWG.

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