Red Dress Day, May 5

Red Dress Day, May 5
Posted on 05/05/2022

Red Dress Day is on Thursday, May 5, 2022. It is a day that brings awareness and calls for all Canadians to speak out on violence against Indigenous women, girls and gender diverse people.

What is Red Dress Day?

Red Dress Day is a day of honouring missing and murdered Indigenous people. It's a day to raise awareness and education about missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls, two spirited, and men. Red Dress Day started as REDress project established by Indigenous artist Jamie Black to focus on the issue of missing and murdered Indigenous women across Canada and United States in 2010.

The dresses are empty, to evoke the missing women who should be wearing them.

The colour red was chosen after Jamie Black had a conversation with an Indigenous friend who shared with her "(Red) is really a calling back of the spirits of these women and allowing them a chance to be among us and have their voices heard through their family members and community." Red also symbolizes "our lifeblood and that connection between all of us," and both vitality and violence.

What is Red Dress Day? (pdf)

The Final Report on the Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls was released in June 2019. There were 2,836 individuals who participated in the truth-gathering process and 231 calls to justice were recommended.

More from artist Jaime Black: This day began as "an aesthetic response to more than 1000 missing and murdered Aboriginal women in Canada".

Because the day is about building awareness of this ongoing harm and honouring those we have lost and their families, people can mark the day by:

  • Wearing red and posting it to social media. Use hashtags such as: #MMIWG, #MMIWG2S, #RedDressDay, #WhyWeWearRed, and #NoMoreStolenSisters
  • Hanging a red dress in your window or your yard
  • Educating others about this issue