May 5 is a significant day among Indigenous people across Canada --  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," inspired by Jamie Black, a Métis artist from Manitoba who hung hundreds of red dresses to represent missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls. This day raises awareness about the disproportionate violence that Indigenous women, girls, & 2SLGBTQ+ people face.

Image credit & courtesy of: Native Women’s Association of Canada.

On this poignant day, rallies take place across the country and people hang red dresses from trees, windows, fences and balconies. Dangling limply on hangers, the red dresses without women to wear them, are visual reminders of the thousands of missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls and two spirit people in Canada and a call for all Canadians to remember and to take action.

The ongoing crisis of missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQI+ people is a direct result of colonization. In Canada, Indigenous women and girls are targeted for violence more than any other group -- more than six in 10 (63%) of Indigenous women have experienced physical or sexual assault in their lifetime. The impact of these disproportionately high rates of violence is felt in all areas of life. The effects on health and wellness include inequitable access and treatment in health care and underrepresentation in health research.

Consistent with several of the calls to action of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission and the calls to justice developed by the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls,  it is vital efforts are accelerated to build the research evidence that is critical for improving the health and wellness of First Nations, Inuit, and Métis Peoples.

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.  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.

You can learn more by visiting the Native Women’s Association of Canada’s website:




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