Lakefield man's painted paddle being auctioned in support of MMIWG

·2 min read

Lakefield resident Brant Dunford decided to paint a powerful image on a paddle because he wanted to contribute to the Burleigh Falls Beautification Project and to keep the conversation alive about missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls.

“The idea to paint this portrait came to me when I was doing another drawing on the paddle. I changed my mind, basically erased what I had and got inspired to do the portrait. I’m happy with how it turned out,” said Dunford.

The paddle depicts an Indigenous girl with a bloodied hand across her face. It’s a strong image that’s used to show the blood shed of Indigenous woman, while at the same time bringing awareness of MMIWG to the forefront.

Dunford says the paddle was purchased at a local store. He says in order for him to paint the paddle he had to sand the surface.

“From start to finish, it took me the better part of two days,” he says.

Dunford, a father of two and the great-grandson of the late Chief Moses Marsden of Alderville First Nation, says he likes to paint as a hobby and says he has a lot of time to do other work.

“During the pandemic I find myself doing more paintings,” he says. He said he has painted a few other paddles with different images and says he plans on doing another one to bring awareness to MMIWG.

The auction to bid on the paddle began Dec 1 and continues to Dec. 3. Details about the auction are listed on the Burleigh Falls Beautification Project Facebook page.

Stephanie Doughty, organizer, says the project is going strong. She expects there to be a large turnout to bid on the paddle as the art is very well done. She says there was a sneak peak on Nov. 15 where many posted comments on the beauty of the artwork and showed interest in bidding before the auction began.

Natalie Hamilton, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, Peterborough This Week