What is Red Dress Day?
Red Dress Day was created to honour missing and murdered Indigenous mothers, daughters, aunties, sisters, grandmothers, nieces and cousins. It’s a day to honour those lost and support the community they’ve left behind. Over 1,000 Indigenous women and girls have lost their lives and to spread awareness, Canadians are encouraged to wear red or hang a red dress.
What does hanging a red dress mean?
Many Canadians hang a red dress to honour missing or murdered Indigenous women across Canada. The tradition was born out of Metis artist Jaime Black’s REDress Project which has been iterated across Canada and the United States. By displaying empty red dresses in open spaces, Black wanted to bring attention to MMIWG including the violence women are experiencing but also their presence and power, as she explained in an interview.
The Ontario Native Women’s Association iterated on the red dress by creating a Grandmother Earth Dress, which is a traditional red jingle dress. The 365 jingles symbolize the justice and safety that all Indigenous women, girls and Two-Spirit people should get year-round.
RED DRESS WINDOW ART PROJECT BRINGS MMIWG AWARENESS FROM THE CLASSROOM TO THE MASSES
One Saskatchewan teacher has helped spearhead a project that will see her students and the public honour those women who lost their lives or disappeared, while raising awareness about their stories.
Katherine Koskie, a teacher at the Yorkton Regional High School, has created a new project inspired by the REDress Project, an art installation by Jaime Black. This new iteration will be featured in windows across Saskatchewan on May 5.
LIL' RED DRESS PROJECT
Make your own red dress pin!
We do ask that the pattern is not used for personal profit, with any proceeds coming back to the Lil’ Red Dress Project.
Alternatively, proceeds can be given to a different MMIWG project with credit to the Lil’ Red Dress Project.
BOW VALLEY HIGH SCHOOL TEACHING AWARENESS OF RED DRESS DAY
Ensuring that All Voices are Heard
For the first time, Bow Valley High School’s staff and students will be partaking in meaningful activities leading up to a schoolwide walk on Thursday, May 5 all in an effort to teach awareness and recognize Red Dress Day.
THEIR VOICES WILL GUIDE US
Student and Youth Engagement Guide
When we think to the future, we consider the legacy we will leave for those who come after us: our children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, and other young people for generations to come. One of the best legacies we can leave them is an education that will help prevent violence and keep Indigenous women and girls safe so that they can all flourish. Together, we can create a society in which all Indigenous lives are valued.