When Author/Illustrators Use their Powers for Good…

Disclaimer: This is a little bit of a rant. I don’t often do those on this site, but it DOES include an author I admire, and I think it’s something that needs to be discussed, so I’m talking about it on my blog. Apologies in advance if this isn’t your cup of tea; regularly scheduled reviews and views will recommence soon. 

I love my country. As much as I love my country, I believe that Canada has a habit of treating people living in lower economic situations – especially marginalized women – poorly. These individuals are ignored for most of the time, are left out of policy decisions and impact considerations, and are often left to shoulder the financial considerations for their family without much in the way of governmental support. When marginalized women are attacked, they are questioned for what they were doing or wearing at the time. When they fight back, they are called names or dismissed. When they are missing … well, they are not missed.

Author/illustrator Evan Munday obviously thinks that there’s a problem as well. In his interview with the Toronto Star, Munday talks about his frustration with the reaction of the Canadian Prime Minister during his end-of-year interview, where PM Harper stated that a national inquiry into missing and murdered aboriginal women “isn’t really high on our radar.”:

“The federal government seems more concerned that retail prices for books or toys are slightly higher in Canada than the fact that thousands of indigenous women have gone missing or been murdered. That’s higher on their radar…So, not knowing how to do anything besides sort of draw, I thought maybe I could use what I did in December to try to generate some action, to use it to some kind of end rather than just a tribute,” said Munday. ~ Toronto Star, January 5th, 2015

What did he do, you might ask? Munday decided to put his talents as an illustrator to good use, and has been creating pen and ink portraits of each of the missing women. He plans to publish one a day, taking the time to sketch each individual woman in pencil first, then again in pen before scanning the images and posting them to Twitter. He also encourages followers to visit the Native Women’s Association of Canada website in order to find out more about this issue, and to use the  hashtag #MMIW. Additionally, he’s trying to promote an indigenous-led organizations and initiatives who are also active in raising awareness.

EM post

At one a day, it will still take Munday just over three years to complete all the portraits – a terrifying statistic. This is a national issue that deserves discussion and action. While it can be frustrating to realize that our government is not doing what it should to about these issues, it’s also uplifting to know that there are organizations and individuals out there who are quietly making a difference. Thank you, Evan Munday and to all the individuals who are taking action in whatever way they can in order to facilitate change.

For more information, follow @idontlikemunday on Twitter, visit nwac.ca for more information, or click here to read the Toronto Star Article.