Former youth in care drawing her path to healing

During challenging times, Kris Moore turns to art.

Kris draws as a healthy and powerful way to express her emotions and heal, especially after the loss of her mother and brother last year.

“It’s been me and my sketchbook against the world,” stated the 20-year-old member of Fort Severn First Nation. “Drawing was the only way I could cope healthily and express my loss. It’s like all the emotions I’m feeling, I can pour into that piece.”

At the age of six, Kris came into care with a child wellbeing agency and was separated from her sister, Bethany. It was then she first turned to art as an outlet and means of self-expression. To this day, Kris credits her early aspirations to Bethany.

“She was always drawing when I was younger and being the younger sibling, I copied everything she did,” said Kris.

Today, Kris has been accessing the resources to support her outlets and art projects, as well as the resources she needs to thrive through Tikinagan’s Neegaan Inabin program. Neegaan Inabin is a transitional program for youth aging out of care and young adults formerly in care. Through this program, Kris said she is receiving the support she needs to meet her goals and find success in whatever plans she has next for the future.

During Honouring Our Children Season, it’s important to highlight stories like Kris’, acknowledging current and former children and youth in care for their strengths and unique identities while uplifting their stories.

Finding herself as a young adult, Kris is learning to express her indigeneity and connection to her Indigenous roots through her art.

“My style is Woodland style art and I really like that style because it’s also saying, ‘Hey I’m Indigenous!’ when that’s something I’ve been shamed for most of my life,” she shared.

When asked about her artistic ambitions, Kris said that art is a hobby for her and an outlet, but has recently begun receiving commissions, including Tikinagan’s 2023-24 Annual Chiefs Assembly cover image.

When it comes to other ambitions in her life, Kris is looking to further her education with the support of Neegaan Inabin. She is currently working towards finishing her high school requirements through Confederation College’s academic upgrading program.

“Education is so vital,” said Kris. “Not having my education stopped me from a lot of different opportunities and new experiences.”

Kris is looking to complete the program by next winter and plans to continue with post-secondary education, expressing interest in a welding program at the college.

Last month, Kris joined Noodawishinaam Oshkiniigiwag (Hear Us Youth), Tikinagan’s youth team, where she can share her experiences and encourage children and youth in care.

“I like sharing my story without having to say anything, you just need to look and interpret,” she said.

To learn more about the Neegaan Inabin program, click here.