This year, Divinart embarked on a journey to give back to the local community, specifically, the Indigenous community.
Raised by resilient Tamil parents who fled from the civil war back home, Sinthusha realized the unwavering parallel lives lived by the Indigenous community right here on this stolen land we call “Canada”. Indigenous folks have been equally stripped away from their homelands, their rights, their freedom and continue to be oppressed by systems on a daily basis.
Divinart partnered with Chez Doris women’s shelter to donate welcome baskets for their Aboriginal Housing Program with the help of funding received from TakingITGlobal through the Government of Canada as well as proceeds received through henna and hand-painted candles. Each basket was donated to newly housed Indigenous women who were either living in a shelter, homeless or housing-insecure (often times landlords don’t treat them well).
Apart from donating something small for the women, the main goal was to raise awareness but importantly to CHANGE the narrative that exists around Indigenous communities. Sinthusha always wondered why we live in a society where Indigenous folks are always seen through a negative lens. Why doesn’t society celebrate them? Why don’t we see Indigenous people in the same spaces we’re in?
Below is a series of stories from a few of the many women we helped (shared with their consent) to do our part to change the prejudice that exists around our Indigenous kin. Click through them to read their stories of resilience.
Through the money raised from henna, hand painted candles, and a $750 grant from TakingITGlobal through the Government of Canada, a total of $1,384.83 was spent on housing materials for Indigenous women who were housed in new homes.
Overall, this project has been one of the most meaningful and unforgettable experiences. Sharing stories and compassion with each of these women, moved Sinthusha to tears but also empowered her in ways she can’t describe. Though if she was going to be honest, she had moments of hesitation of wanting to help but not overstep throughout the whole process. Regardless, each one of them taught her what sheer resilience in life looks like while overcoming systemic and institutional forms of oppression they face on a daily basis.
Sinthusha hopes this project has allowed folks to be more aware of the realities of Indigenous folks on this land we occupy. Lets continue to build allyship and stronger relationships through shared stories and experiences.
We shall stand in solidarity.
Chez Doris is a charitable organization offering a daytime shelter seven days a week for all women in difficulty. The house provides meals, respite, clothing, socio-recreational activities as well as practical assistance in a secure and accepting environment. Their vision is to give women in need a safe and nonjudgmental environment where confidentiality is assured.