Aboriginal artist Jackie Traverse is profiled by freelance journalist Shelley Cook in Winnipeg, Manitoba.


“She makes her living by selling little pieces of her soul painted onto a canvas.  Her art often imitates her own life, much of it is dark and tells a troubling story.  For renowned aboriginal artist Jackie Traverse putting the brush to the canvas is an emotional outlet that she can’t get anywhere else.  To put it simply, art is her therapy.”

Jackie Traverse is an aboriginal artist working out of Winnipeg, Manitoba.  She draws inspiration for her artwork directly from her own life.  Her artwork depicts the beauty and tradition of her indigenous culture and the gritty truth of urban indigenous life in Canada.

Aboriginal artist portrays traditional themes into her artwork

Jackie’s art often depicts themes of traditional native ceremony, visual representations of traditional spirit names, animals and the sacred role women play in the traditional Anishinaabe culture.  Women were considered the carriers of water and life – and thus held a very valuable role in the traditional community.

Prayers For Our Sisters by Jackie Traverse

In our contemporary Canadian society, the sacred role of women has almost been forgotten.  Indigenous women in Canada suffer from high rates of violence and discrimination.  Through her art, Jackie works to bring much needed attention to the injustices faced by indigenous women in Canada.  Her artwork educates and inspires young indigenous women to realise their true worth and reclaim their sacred role within their community.  Having two daughters and a granddaughter inspires Jackie to continue with her artwork but also to work towards creating urban communities that are safer for indigenous women.

In addition to her artistic endevours, Jackie Traverse is also an indigenous activist that works to create access to safe ride options for urban indigenous women via Ikwe Safe Rides.  Jackie also supports numerous community initiatives that work to support the indigenous urban community in Winnipeg.




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