Red Dress Day (or MMIWG2S+) on May 5th honours the memories of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls across Canada. Métis artist Jaime Black helped inspire the red dress movement, where red dresses are hung from windows and trees to represent the pain and loss felt by loved ones and survivors.
Originally starting as the REDdress art installation, Red Dress Day became a grassroots movement across North America. The project was made up of 600 community-donated red dresses, which were later placed in public spaces throughout Winnipeg and across Canada.
The artist chose the colour red after speaking with an Indigenous friend who told her that is the only colour spirits can see. Red dresses are used to call the spirits of missing and murdered women and girls back to their loved ones. The goal was to speak to the gendered and racialized nature of violent crimes against Indigenous women and to evoke a presence by marking absence.
Local panel featuring Advocates and Community Leaders within the RMWB
Red Dress Project by Jamie Black
Reclaiming Power and Place Executive Summary
Native Women’s Association of Canada
Stolen Sisters, Emmanuelle Walter
Violence Against Indigenous Women, Allison Hargreaves
Keensahnak/ Our murdered and missing Indigenous sisters, Dr. Tracey Bear, et al
Connie Walker, Stolen the Search For Jermaine & Murdered and Missing (CBC)
Connie Walker, Missing & Murdered: Finding Cleo (CBC)
(A red dress is hung at the Spruce Grove Public Library to acknowledge and bring awareness to Red Dress Day)