As the documentary It Was A Woman tells us, Cherri Low Horn shares her story about the abuse she survived by a female sexual offender and her recovery process. We were able to follow up with Cherri since the making of this documentary. Here’s what she had to say.
Since the making of this documentary where has life taken you?
Recently I got married to my wonderful husband, and my daughter celebrated her 5th birthday. I have been working at HIV Community Link (formerly AIDS Calgary) coordinating the Strong Voices Aboriginal program. I go into the community and raise awareness and education on HIV/AIDS and Aboriginal people. I have also been taking courses online working towards my second degree, a BSW. My life has become very busy with community work and family, but it also has been fulfilling because I’m working with a great organization and I have met a lot of good people in the urban Aboriginal community.
When did you first realize that you could draw/sketch? When did you start to take notice of this talent?
In grade 1 I remember drawing out a little book that I was really proud of creating. Before that I remember admiring the drawing of one of my daycare teachers. Drawing and sketching has always been a part of my life. In grade 6 my teacher kept my drawings I did over that year, and showed the following students my drawings several years later.
There are many illustrations throughout the documentary. Did you do these?
I did all the drawings for the documentary, often under pressure and tight deadlines. Jesse Bochner really helped with the storyboarding and focusing on what elements were needed for the animations.
How has being an artist helped you to get to where you are today?
Drawing helped me cope in times when I felt I had no control, or I needed to escape the bad times in my life. It helps me to create and tell my own stories to myself. I use art as a diary to help me remember where I have come from and where I want to go. Art has taken me many places. For example I was able to go to the Institute of American Indian Art and met other awesome Native American artist and writers. I illustrated a children’s book about suicide (Daniel’s Choices by Joanne Hughes). I also helped develop a graphic novel about aboriginal people living with HIV for the Strong Voices program at HIV Community Link.
How do you maintain positivity in your life?
I work hard at maintaining positivity in my life because I spent a lot of time in misery. After a while I realized that I do not want to be a negative person. So I had to work on myself to look at life differently and Nicki Garwood was essential to that process, she opened a lot of doors for me. I also look for and maintain friendships with people who are open, positive, and understanding. My friends and family have been important in helping me focus on being a better person.
We would like to thank Cherri for her bravery and honesty in speaking with us. And we wish her continued success for a happy and healthy life.
To learn more about Cherri Low Horn and her film It Was A Woman visit http://www.itwasawoman.com/