TNDC Marks National Day of Awareness for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls and 2SLGBTQQIA+
Today – May 5 – is the National Day of Awareness for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls and 2SLGBTQQIA+ (Two-Spirit, lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, intersex and asexual plus) people. It is also known as Red Dress Day, when many wear red to draw attention to missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls and two spirit people and as a call for all Canadians to remember and to take action.
In Canada, Indigenous women and girls are targeted for violence more than any other group. On this day, we bring awareness and call for participation from all Canadians, in speaking out against violence against Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA people, and acknowledging and celebrating Indigenous peoples' history, cultures, pride, and diversity.
TNDC honours the lives and legacies and remembers all missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls and 2SLGBTQ+ people, and their loved ones impacted by this tragic and ongoing violence.
The day was first marked in 2010. It was borne out of the ongoing art project called The REDress Project by Jaime Black, a Métis multidisciplinary artist based in Winnipeg. The red dresses act as a visual reminder of the more than 1,000 Indigenous woman, girls, and Two-Spirit people who are missing or who have been murdered, and those whose lives have been forever changed by such violence.
Canada’s colonial and present has a lasting and negative impact on Indigenous communities. The legacies of residential schools, the 60s scoop, and ongoing colonization including resource theft and socio-economic conditions like poverty often fall the hardest on women and gender diverse people.
This history, along with sexism, ableism, racism, homophobia, transphobia as well as the actions and inactions of governments, create systemic discrimination and inequities. These issues must be addressed in order for Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people to be safe wherever they live.
Learn More: Cooperative Housing Federation of BC
*Image courtesy of the Cooperative Housing Federation of BC.