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Red Dress Day - May 5

History of Red Dress Day

It was Métis artist Jaime Black who helped inspire the red dress movement.

Her REDdress art installation evolved into the annual Red Dress Day and sparked a grassroots movement across North America – a visual representation of the pain and loss felt by the families of victims and their survivors – shedding light on the issues of missing and murdered Indigenous women.

The project was made up of 600 community-donated red dresses, which were later placed in public spaces throughout Winnipeg and across Canada as a reminder of the staggering number of Indigenous women who are no longer with us.

Black chose the colour red after speaking with an Indigenous friend who told her that is the only colour spirits can see. Using it is a way of calling the spirits of missing and murdered women and girls back to their loved ones.

As an artist, her goal was to speak to the gendered and racialized nature of violent crimes against Indigenous women and to evoke a presence by marking absence.

On May 5, people across North America hang red dresses in private and public spaces to remember missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls and in solidarity with family members and loved ones.

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