Design chosen for monument at Saskatoon police headquarters

June 25, 2015 - 11:07am
Artist Lionel Peyachew's design for the monument. Photo from Twitter.
Artist Lionel Peyachew's design for the monument. Photo from Twitter.

A dancer, mid movement, above a cloud will be constructed outside the Saskatoon Police headquarters this fall.

The design by artist Lionel Peyachew was chosen this week for the permanent monument dedicated to missing and murdered indigenous women. Peyachew explained he took inspiration from the story of Amber Redman, the 19-year-old woman who was murdered in 2005.

"A story that her mother told, she was describing how her daughter was and she was a fancy dancer and when she watched her daughter dance it was like watching an eagle in flight dancing on a cloud," Peyachew said.

It inspired the design of a dancer in movement above a cloud surrounded by stone pillars bearing the stories of missing and murdered women.

"Families will be able to tell their stories and have them read by the public," he said, adding that he hopes it brings happiness, healing, and hope for the future.

Peyachew said he was also inspired after his own experience of loss when he was in university in Calgary.

"One of my roommates went missing, a female friend of mine went missing and (her remains were) not located for a number of years," he said.

"It really touched me trying to sort of contribute to the cause which is very important... Just to inspire or maybe encourage for more maybe study on what's going on, why are women going missing."

There were three short listed designs. They underwent public consultation before being reviewed by the monument committee, the city's visual art committee and city council.

On Wednesday Saskatoon Police tweeted the chosen monument. Construction is expected to begin in October or November.

- With files from News Talk Radio's Lasia Kretzel.

Follow on Twitter: @KellyGerMalone