Healing through creativity, Pregnancy and Infant Loss Network dot art and sharing circle
Angela Anderson - Staff Writer
The Pregnancy and Infant Loss (PAIL) Network hosted a dot art workshop along with a sharing circle on August 10 at the Forest Inn and Conference Centre during this year’s Blueberry Festival.
The PAIL Network offers support at no cost to families who have experienced the loss of a pregnancy at any stage or the death of a baby up to one year of age. According to PAIL Network, 1 in 4 pregnancies end in a loss and that is only the reported ones.
PAIL Network representative Amy Muhr shared, “The sharing circle was for bereaved families and community members to have a safe place where they could share their stories. Through the sharing circle, the PAIL network could listen to families and community members to learn more about how they could offer meaningful peer support to bereaved families in Sioux Lookout and surrounding areas. This is the fifth time PAIL Network has been to Sioux Lookout and the third time to the Blueberry Festival.” Courtney Donovan, Special Projects Coordinator, said of coming to Sioux Lookout each year, “Over the years the ladies and I have made connections with the community.” She went on to explain, “As an organization we believe we should build on those relationships and provide continuous support to the community. Blueberry Festival gives us the perfect opportunity to come to Sioux Lookout and engage with the community and be a familiar face for whoever shows up.”
Donovan shared of the dot art dot art workshop, “Dot art is typically used by Métis communities as it is a representation of Beadwork. Métis people are known for their elaborate floral beadwork used on clothing, bags, and other materials. Dot Art was created to mimic the traditional beadwork pattern and be self-expressive. Beadwork and dot art tell stories, there is often a color dot that is unique in the pattern that stands out to people which typically represents a “spirit” dot, which represents that we all make mistakes, and we can learn through those experiences to still have beautiful outcomes.”
Muhr concludes that the PAIL Network’s dot art workshop and sharing circle offer more than just a creative outlet; they serve as a testament to the power of art in healing and connection.