A National Day of Awareness
May 5th is Red Dress Day in Canada. This day is in honour and memory of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls (MMIWG) and Two-Spirit People. It is a day to pay respect to the victims, raise awareness of the crisis and call on governments to take action to address the racialized and gendered violence inflicted on Indigenous peoples in Canada.
The date, May 5th, began with Métis artist Jaime Black’s REDress Project in which she hung empty, red dresses to represent the missing and murdered women. The artist chose the colour red because it is powerful and eye-catching, and represents both vitality and violence. She also learned from an Indigenous friend that red is the only colour that spirits can see, and which can be used to call the spirits of the lost back to reconnect with their loved ones.