NATIONAL DAY OF AWARENESS FOR MISSING AND MURDERED INDIGENOUS WOMEN AND GIRLS AND TWO-SPIRIT PEOPLE
(Red Dress Day)
On this day, May 5th, National Day of Awareness for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls and Two-Spirit People, also known as Red Dress Day, the Culture Alliance acknowledges that this is a time to acknowledge the impact this violence has had on families and communities. During times like this, individuals will often turn to art and ceremony, and embrace their culture to help them cope with their loss. It is a time to bring awareness and pay respect to those who were tragically taken and stolen from countless families and honour the memories they have left behind, and the loss that is felt by survivors. The resilience of Indigenous women and girls, and Indigenous families, continues to flourish.
Art inspired the Red Dress movement through the REDress Project, an installation art project “based on an aesthetic response to this critical national issue” by Métis artist Jaime Black. The project began in late 2010 and travelled across Canada and into the United States. It is now a permanent exhibit at the Canadian Museum of Human Rights, where part of their mandate is to preserve and promote our heritage at home and abroad and contribute to the collective memory and sense of identity of all Canadians.
As a result of building awareness, the Truth and Reconciliation Commission Report called for Action 41, which recommended a National Inquiry into the Missing and Murdered Indigenous women and girls and two-spirit people. MMIWG released the final report in 2019, which included 231 Calls for Justice to “transform systemic and societal values that have worked to maintain colonial violence.”
The Culture Alliance exists to build bridges and raise awareness and make positive change. We recognize that for many, you are just learning about the injustices created by an early colonial system that impacted our Indigenous people. We ask that we all take further steps to learn more about the history of Indigenous people and why more than one thousand women and girls have gone missing. We also ask that everyone take this day to honour and remember the victims and their families.
The Culture Alliance works to celebrate, foster, and promote the cultures of the area, bringing together the five communities of Beausoleil First Nation, the Towns of Midland and Penetanguishene and the Townships of Tay and Tiny. We recognize that cultures are not bound or restricted by any geographic or municipal boundary, and we acknowledge the collaborative, valuable, unique, and positive relationships that exist in these communities.