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Red Dress Day

May 5, 2023

May 5th is Red Dress Day, also known as the National Day of Awareness for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls and Two-Spirit People (MMIWG2S). This day honours and raises awareness for the thousands of Indigenous women, girls, and two-spirit people who experience disproportionate individual and systemic violence. A human rights crisis of racialized and gender-based violence, the crisis of MMIWG2S in Canada is exacerbated by systemic issues these communities face when seeking protection and justice from these horrific acts. The CTRC has gathered some resources to support the required learning and action journeys as we all work towards fighting the multiple injustices faced by the Indigenous community in Canada.

We encourage engagement with the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls Final Report, as it was integral to bringing widespread attention to this crisis, and its importance can not be overstated. 

The Native Women’s Association of Canada has developed and shared a Red Dress Day toolkit for teachers, with lessons, discussion questions, videos, and activities to help children understand the weight and severity of Red Dress Day. 

The National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls released Their Voices Will Guide Us, a report designed for student and youth engagement. This report provides guidance for teachers in their role as educators and provides information focused on different grade groups.

Carolyn Roberts is an Indigenous academic and educator who specializes in Indigenous studies and educating others on the ways colonialism still shapes and impacts our world today. Her article Thinking about Red Dress Day for students? provides valuable resources and book recommendations on how to talk to young students about Red Dress Day, murdered and missing Indigenous women and girls and two-spirit people, and the rights and history of Indigenous people in Canada, some of which are reflected in this article.

The REDress Project by Métis artist Jaime Black is the inspiration for the name Red Dress Day. A visually striking piece, it highlights the horrific amount of missing bodies of Indigenous women and girls and two-spirit people. 

Missing Nimâmâ by Melanie Florence

If I Go Missing by Brianna Jonnie and Nahanni Shingoose 

This website is for educational purposes. If the situation is urgent, please call 911, or your local emergency services providers.