An orchestrated campaign to put an Aboriginal person on the

An orchestrated campaign to put an Aboriginal person on the $20 bill

The petition launched by the Native Women’s Association of Canada to have an Indigenous woman appear on the next $20 bill has been online for four months and has more than 44,000 signatures as of Saturday.

“Canada has been printing money for 150 years. In all that time, an Aboriginal woman has never been featured on a Canadian banknote. »

– A quote from the Native Women’s Association of Canada

As part of her Change the Bill (New Window) campaign, she invited Indigenous artists to submit their ideas and imagine what the bill might look like.

Laura Dieter, who hails from the Cree nation of Peepeekisis, Saskatchewan, is among those interested in the project.

She made two suggestions. The first coin, titled “I am His,” is a black and white note depicting a young indigenous woman.

“It speaks to our identity who we are in the eyes of the Creator,” said Ms. Dieter.

Her second coin features Cindy Blackstock on a $20 bill. Ms. Blackstock, a leading advocate for indigenous children’s rights, is executive director of the First Nations Child and Family Caring Society of Canada.

A painting of Cindy Blackstock's face on the depiction of a $20 greenback.

The $20 bill honoring Cindy Blackstock, designed by artist Laura Dieter.

Photo: Courtesy

“I think she’s someone who should be celebrated and honored on the $20 bill,” said the Cree artist.

The Royal Canadian Mint has confirmed that King Charles III. will follow in his mother’s footsteps and have her likeness on the next $20 bill. To this end, the federal institution has already contacted more than 350 Canadian artists to submit their creations.

However, there has been no sign that it intends to follow in Australia’s footsteps. Last February, this country, which distances itself from the British Crown, announced that it intended to replace Queen Elizabeth II with indigenous symbols on its $5 bill.

“If Australia can do it, Canada can definitely do it. And I think that would be great. »

– A quote from Laura Dieter, Cree artist

She adds that she would like the Royal Mint to reconsider their decision to honor King Charles III. to show on the next $20 bill reconsidered. She added that this is an important step towards reconciliation.

powerful message

Indigenous artist Anong Beam agrees.

As the owner of Beam Paints, an art shop in the M’Chigeeng First Nation on Manitoulin Island, she talks about the power of the message.

Currency is important because it is one of a country’s symbols of power, Ms Beam said.

“I think that if we are reflected in this currency, it is the beginning of a fairer future,” she added.

With information from Warren Schlote, CBC News

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