Inuit women in the Manitoba Inuit Association’s Kativiik sewing circle created this red amauti as a symbol of missing and murdered Inuit women and girls in 2019. Now Pauktuutit has developed a national version of that commemoration project. (File photo)

Pauktuutit invites seamstresses to design commemorative amautiit

The Red Amauti Project will honour Inuit women and girls who are missing or were murdered

By Sarah Rogers

Canada’s national Inuit women’s organization has put a call-out for seamstresses to design a series of amautiit to honour Inuit women and girls who are missing or were murdered.

Pauktuutit Inuit Women of Canada recently launched its Red Amauti Project, which will fund the creation of an amauti for each of the four regions of Inuit Nunangat: Nunavut, Nunavik, Nunatsiavut and Inuvialuit.

“When we were talking about doing a commemoration project, we came up with several ideas,” said Pauktuutit president Rebecca Kudloo. “But in the end, the red amauti made the most sense. It has become a symbol of remembrance.”

The Red Amauti is an Inuit-focused initiative that draws from the REDress Project, a 2011 art installation developed by Métis artist Jaime Black, who collected 600 red dresses from across the country as a memorial to missing and murdered Indigenous women.

The amauti is a traditional Inuit women’s parka fitted with a hood, used for carrying infants.

The design of the amauti varies across Inuit Nunangat, Kudloo said, from the size of the baby’s pouch, to the design of the hem and the different types of embellishments used, such as fringe or beading.

Regardless of the style, Kudloo said the amauti is an unmistakable symbol of Inuit women.

“We’re hoping that when people see these … it will remind them that women lose their lives through violence,” she said. “And we all have to work together to eliminate that violence in our communities.”

Inuit seamstresses or groups have until Sept. 10 to submit their design bid. The seamstresses that Pauktuutit selects to create the amautiit will have until January 2022 to complete their projects.

Pauktuutit hasn’t yet determined where the red amautiit will be displayed. Kudloo said they could be put up in community centres or gathering places, or the parkas could tour through the different regions.

The Red Amauti Project is funded through the federal budget earmarked for commemoration projects that flowed from the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls.

For more information on submitting a design bid, visit Pauktuutit’s website.

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(2) Comments:

  1. Posted by Suvaa on

    Just ask yourselves this question,” Is the Amouti going to make a difference in the lives of families in Nunavut or Inuit Nunangat?” Pauktutit has lost their focus and can’t figure out what their mandate is. Using lots of funds to keep Southern Staff employed down south .Why not have leadership skills training in the high schools? Do workshops on business start ups for young women and help with a building rental space for them? Give money to the women who can make winter clothing for the children of families who can’t afford winter clothing. Make posters on drug/ alcohol abuse. Fund raise for mental health workers in each community. Do mental health counsellor workshops for older women. Pauktutit has become just an excuse of Federal Government to say they have met with Inuit women..

  2. Posted by Grace Itttusaqjuaq on

    Hello, my name is Grace Im intrested in joining. I have sewing since 4 years old.and admired my mother making things and basically when i was a newborn. I remeber hearing her sew and it was soothing.

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