Red Dress Day Commemorated at the Saskatchewan Legislature
Red Dress Day will be observed on May 5 at the opening of an art exhibit in memory of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls.
Red Dress Day, which is officially known as the National Day of Awareness for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls, and Two-Spirit People, is an annual event that aims to bring attention to the disproportionate number of Indigenous people who are impacted by gender-based violence.
Minister Responsible for the Status of Women Laura Ross stated, “May 5 is a day to remember Indigenous women who have been impacted by gender-based violence, to know their names, stories, and honor their lives.” So that other families don’t have to go through such an unimaginable loss, the Heart Spirits exhibit at the legislature will create a space for education and help extend the discussion on ending gender-based violence beyond Red Dress Day.”
The Heart Spirits Task by Saskatchewan craftsman Cheryl Ring contains 200 carefully assembled dirt hearts; each in memory of a missing or murdered Indigenous person. The Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls+ Community Response Fund provides funding to First Nation and Métis communities and organizations, and the art exhibit will be open to the public at the Legislative Building Cumberland gallery throughout the month of May. For eligible projects that partner with Indigenous entities to promote and improve prevention and build safety for Indigenous women, girls, and Two Spirit+ people, as well as their families and communities, this fund will provide $400,000.
“As we observe Red Dress Day, we stand in solidarity with the families of Indigenous women, girls, and their relatives who have gone missing or been murdered. Minister for First Nations, Métis, and Northern Affairs Don McMorris stated, “It is important that we acknowledge and honor the lives lost and those who continue to be impacted by the ongoing violence.” The experiences and voices of Indigenous women have been the driving force behind the creation of the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls+ Community Response Fund. We want to help Indigenous women, girls, and Two Spirit+ people all over the province with this fund. This fund supported twelve community-led projects in the previous year.
This program provides a total of $400,000 to eligible projects that are led by First Nation and Métis communities, institutions, and organizations in collaboration with Indigenous entities to promote and improve prevention and construct safety for Indigenous women, girls, and Two Spirit+ people, as well as their families and communities.
Since its June 2019 release, the Final Report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls has been implemented by Saskatchewan and the other provinces. Every year, a progress report is presented.
According to Justice Minister and Attorney General Bronwyn Eyre, “Red Dress Day is dedicated to honoring missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls, supporting their families, and ensuring that, in Saskatchewan, they can live without violence or discrimination.”
For those affected by the disappearance or murder of Indigenous women, girls, and Two Spirit+ people, a support line is available. For guaranteed profound help, call 1-844-413-6649.
The REDress Project, which was developed in 2010 by Métis artist Jaime Black, gave rise to Red Dress Day.