Red Dress Day is the National Day of Awareness for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls and Two-Spirit People (MMIWG2S).
Today, Indigenous women and girls in Canada are 16 times more likely than non-Indigenous women to be targeted and killed and 12 times more likely to be murdered or go missing.
The MMIWG2S National Action Plan states that this is part of a genocide.
But we hope that change is coming.
Just this week, MP Leah Gazan submitted a motion to Parliament to set up an alert system for when someone goes missing.
All the MPs in the House of Commons backed the motion unanimously.
Local Comox-Alberni MP Gord Johns wrote in favour of the motion in a Facebook posting, saying he was “proud” to stand by Gazan.
Johns supports Gazan when she says the next important move to make change is “reversing their decision to cut $150 million for women’s shelters and investing in the Red Dress Alert.”
You can help show your support for missing women and their families locally by attending events organized to stand in solidarity with the movement.
In Courtenay, the MIKI’SIW Métis Association and the Indigenous Women’s Sharing Society are co-hosting an awareness ceremony for missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls, and two-spirit people on May 5 at Simms Park from 1-6 PM.
Educational tables and traditional activities such as drumming and smudging circles will occur.
Local hip-hop artist Sirreal will also host a workshop and perform.
Everyone is welcome and asked to show support by wearing red.
Many other events will be taking place across the Island, and we encourage everyone to look up what’s happening in your local municipality — and wear red.
You can also add your support for motions that will help spur change by adding your name to this list of calls for action put together by MP Gord John.