Institute of American Indian Arts (IAIA) Senior Created Project to Support Missing/Murdered Indigenous Women

Dean Charlene Teters and Amelia Sparks-Schuler at the StandUp4MMIW event on the IAIA Campus

Published April 16, 2019

SANTA FE, N.M. — The Red Quilt Solidarity Project (#RQSP) is an international awareness initiative dedicated toMissing/Murdered Indigenous Women (MMIW). While the numbers of unreported, unsolved, and uninvestigated cases of MMIW are astounding, this is not just an Indigenous problem. Violence against women is rampant all over the world. This is a global issue. In response, IAIA StudentTina Sparks started her own quilt project, inviting people from across the country to participate.

In January 2019, Tina’s Red Quilt Solidarity Project; a dress to honor MMIW by designed by Patricia Michaels’ (Taos Pueblo); and IAIA Academic Dean Charlene Teters’ (Spokane) painting “Lady in Red Shawl” were selected to be part of “Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women” Awareness Day during American Indian Day on February 1, 2019 in the State Capitol. NM Congresswoman   Deb Haaland (Laguna Pueblo) was also recognized for her tireless work on behalf of MMIW and bringing the issue to national attention.
As a result of that event, Tina was invited and encouraged to attend Senate Committee meetings to advocate for MMIW bills being proposed. All three Senate proposals that were written to date, have passed the committees, and are on their way to the next level in the process.
So far, the Tina’s RQSP has received 12 submissions from across the United States, and many more are in the works. This project will be open for submissions throughout the next 12-18 months.
The national submissions to the Red Quilt Solidarity Project, as well as Tina’s BFA quilt creation and performance piece, will all be part of the BFA Senior Art Show at IAIA on April 19, 2019 from 5:30-8:00 pm. The RQSP will be installed in the Library Building in front of the auditorium. For directions and a map of the campus, visit iaia.edu/about/visit.

A portion of the quilt the be displayed at IAIA.

The short-term goal for this project to travel around the country as an installation paired with a community art experience that will initiate introspection, engage community conversation and increase awareness of Missing/Murdered Indigenous Women.
The long-term goal is to transport the project to Washington, DC in 2020, and display it on the national mall, much like the AIDS Quilt in the 1980’s, creating a visual voice calling for visibility, funding and change.

Sandra Claymore (Lakota), Senator John Pinto (Navajo), and Tina Sparks

For anyone interested in participating in the project, please contact tina.sparks@iaia.edu or at the Red Quilt Solidarity Project Facebook Page.

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