Carly Swenson • Intuitive Artist

bloodwork: thousands missing and murdered…(artist interpretation)

This is a portrait of 22-year old Savanna LaFontaine-Greywind an Indigenous woman living in Fargo, North Dakota. In August of 2017, she was eight months pregnant when she was abducted and killed as her baby was taken from her womb. Fortunately, the perpetrators were apprehended and her baby survived. Her daughter is living with her family and is safe and healthy. Unfortunately (beyond the brutal act itself), literally thousands of indigenous women, girls, two-spirit and trans individuals have been murdered or gone missing across the US and Canada for generations. The background of this piece includes only 165 of those aforementioned individuals. (Canada seems to be better than the US at beginning to organize, implement, and maintain an accurate database.) It’s important to emphasize, that like my portrait of George Floyd, while only one person is depicted, each name was a life.

Each name was a human being, someone’s child, someone’s mother (ages 18 month-84 years old). Each individual had a unique story and personality. Each name was a life. And those lives were stolen. As a society we are failing Indigenous women. In fact, we are beyond failing them, because their plight is hardly being acknowledged and documented, let alone taken seriously, or solved. To add figurative insult to injury, many of these cases are not taken seriously by law enforcement. It’s expansive and heartbreaking. Here is a 35 min. listen that NPR released August 25, 2020.

In a rare turn of events Savanna’s heartbreaking tragedy lead to potential legislation, with Savanna’s Act. Savanna’s Act “reforms law enforcement and justice protocols appropriate to address missing and murdered Native women.” However, thousands of these cases are unsolved, or even undocumented in the first place.

This is a huge crisis that is tricky to understand and solve due to jurisdictional issues, systemic racism & misogyny, colonialism, inaccurate & missing data, etc. Admittedly, some of those who went missing were involved in sex work, had addiction, or mental health issues. However, that doesn’t mean their deaths (or anyone’s) are deserved or justified. It’s also important to recognize these lost women also include children, middle school, high school, and college students, young mothers, working professionals, and grandmothers. Even more evidence of how pervasive this crisis is–is the fact that siblings, cousins, or multiple members from extended families have been killed or gone missing.


If you or someone you know needs help, StrongHearts Native Helpline 1-844-7NATIVE (762-8483) is a domestic, dating and sexual violence helpline for American Indians and Alaska Natives, offering culturally-appropriate support and advocacy daily from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. CT. The helpline is anonymous and confidential.

You can also find the National Domestic Violence Hotline’s number at 1-800-799-7233.



Donna Marie Kasyon
Cami Rideshorse
Cynthia Albena Audy
Ada Elaine Brown
Claudette Priscilla June Osborne-Tyo
Bella Laboucan-McLean
Cheyenne Santana Marie Fox
Melissa Tsosie
Liana Mathewson
Hilda Agawa
Edith McGinnis Quagon
Joyce Tillotson
Jamie Nora McGuire
Diane Dobson
Talena Boyiddle
Charity Keesic
Laura Pilon
Christine Cardinal
Jennifer Catcheway
Elsie Sebastian
Abigail Andrews
Donna Taylor
Sarah Mason
Jennifer Stewart
Teekah Lewis
Beatrice Adam
Stella Evon
Shania Lyn Gray
Mary Ann Davis
Lisa Lynn Anstey
Elena Assam-Thunderbird
Jessie Renae Waters
Deziree Martinez
Diana Rattlesnake
Sherry Ann Wounded Foot
Belinda Ann Cameron
Azraya Kokopenace
Angela Poorman
Jacqueline Crazybull
Kaitlyn Hudon-Childforever
Vera Hapoff
Annie Mann
Bonnie Atagootak
Jane Bernard
Helen Louise Jacobs
Andria Meise
Delena Lefthand Dixon
Ashton Reyes
Rose Fields
Emily Osmond
Glennis Edwards
Amber Rose Marie Guiboche
Freda Goodrunning
Autumn Andy
Emily Ballantyne
Cari Black Elk-Cline
Annette Margaret Holywhiteman
Jade Velasquez
Charlene Catholique
Deborah Haudley
Colleen Lincoln
Kelorae Devone Bullchild
Brenda Jeanette Campbell
Destiny Rae Tom
Amber Alyssa Tuccaro
Lori Dee Wilson
Elizabeth Dorion
Deanna Marie Bellerose & Ginger Lee Bellerose
Jocelyn McDonald
Gladys Marie Simon
Crystal Shannon Saunders
Brandy Wesaquate
Amanda Cook
Ashley Heavyrunner Loring
Selena Bell Not Afraid
Jeannette Jean Chief
Amy Lynn Hanson
Azraya Ackabee-Kokopenace
Eveona Cortez
Gloria Moody
Tess White
Brittany Bearspaw
Dawn Crey
Katcinski Ariel Begay
Janine Wesaquate
Mary Papatsie
Bonnie Lynn Jack
Alicia Jumping Eagle
Alannah Jamima Cardinal
Denise Katherine Bourdeau
Jamie Wounded Arrow
Caralyn Aubrey King
Evaline Cameron
Edna Bernard
Cecilia Nikal
Chantelle Alice Rose Bushie
Sade Lisette Caye
Sandra Frye
Nicole Joe
Patricia YellowRobe
Alberta Gail Williams
Fonassa Bruyere
Jarita Naistus
Danielle Marissa LaRue
Angela Meyer
Kayleigh Ivall
Katelynne Sampson
Anne Rose Peters
Elaine Vawn LaForme
Bernadine Leanne Quewezance
Carol Lynn Prudhomme
Genevieve Tetpon
Immaculate Basil
Loreal Tsingine
Gloria Mildred Gladue
Dianne Bignell
Delores Brown
Diane Mary Stewart
Helyna Rivera
Glenda Morrisseau
Dawn DeHerrera
Leanne Lawson
Terri Benally
Alishia Germaine
Carolyn Connolly
Audrey Mary Desjarlais
Chelsea Nagokee
Cassandra Antone
Judie Thibault
Barbara Kentner
Nicole Westbrook
Brandy Vittrekwa
Jeanette Marie Cardinal
Sandra Smiscon
Amanda Simpson
Sophie Sergie
Mariah Wesley
Cheryl Lynn Black
Angeline Dundas
Angela Williams
Cherisse Diane Marie Houle
Heaven Traverse
Marjorie Henderson (Morrisseau)
Amy Oldcoyote
Deborah Anne Sloss
Darlene Billie
Gloria Kaily Black Plume
Janet Sylvestre
Nancy Brower
Shyanna Whitewolf
Ashlynne Mike
Melissa Rae Buckles
Cindy Gladue
Racinda Whiteclay
Desiree Oldwoman
Kelly Morrisseau
Jacqueline Salyers
Felicia Velvet Solomon
Judy Ann Quill
Caitlin Potts
Janet Gail Henry
Barbara Keam
Annie Pootoogook
Savanna LaFontaine-Greywind

2 Replies to “bloodwork: thousands missing and murdered…(artist interpretation)”

  1. This is really horrible. What sick people cut a baby from his mums belly ??!!! And why do some people think they are better than others ?

    Like

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