Red Dress project honours missing and murdered women

Published: October 4, 2017


Red dresses have been blowing in the wind throughout downtown Red Lake this week as a reminder of an estimated 1,200 missing and murdered Indigenous women in Canada, say organizers.

Earlier this week 38 red articles of clothing were hung up on street signs and poles in solidarity of the REDress Project, first started by Winnipeg-based artist Jamie Black.

Coordinator Mollie Isaac says along with Angela McLaren and Margorie McCrea, the 38 items including a couple bathrobes and a child’s dress were hung up as a visual reminder of the lives lost in our community and throughout Canada.

“The red is supposed to be a colour the spirits do see,” described Mollie Isaac on Oct. 2. “It is haunting and it is just to get people talking about and thinking about missing and murdered indigenous women.”

Isaac also says the display was planned as a prelude to the Sisters in Spirit event scheduled for Oct. 4 in Centennial Park which will include a sacred fire and a candle-lit vigil. Activities during the day are also being coordinated including an open lunch and a showing of “Highway of Tears”, a movie about the unsolved cases of missing or murdered women along a 724 kilometer stretch of highway in British Columbia.

The Native Women’s Association of Canada says Indigenous women are almost three times more likely to be killed by a stranger than non-Indigenous women, and nearly half of these cases remain unsolved.

In 2016, the federal government launched an independent national inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls.

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