Red Dress Day, a National Day of Awareness for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls and Two-Spirit People
The Canadian Race Relations Foundation (CRRF) recognizes Red Dress Day as an opportunity for all of us on this land to honour Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls and Two-Spirit People whose lives were stolen, and to demand justice for the families and communities who continue to be affected by this tragic injustice.
The history of violence against Indigenous women in Canada is a long and painful and deeply rooted in colonialism.
This year, the CRRF has sponsored a film screening series organized by Stardale Women’s Group, a non-profit charitable organization that supports Indigenous young women and girls in Saskatchewan and Alberta. The series features a film trilogy exploring themes pertaining to the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls and the legacy and inter-generational impact of colonialism in Canada.
Indigenous women and girls have and continue to be disproportionately affected by violence, with rates of homicide and disappearance much higher than for non-Indigenous women. According to Statistics Canada, almost six in ten (56%) Indigenous women have experienced physical assault while almost half (46%) of Indigenous women have experienced sexual assault. In comparison, about a third of non-Indigenous women have experienced physical assault (34%) or sexual assault (33%) in their lifetime.
This past Tuesday, the House of Commons adopted a motion on unanimous consent calling on the federal government to declare ongoing violence against Indigenous women, girls and two-spirit people a national emergency.
This Red Dress Day, we encourage all our communities to take the time to learn more and work towards healing and ending the ongoing trauma and violence faced by Indigenous women, girls, and Two-Spirit individuals as a key part of our commitment to Reconciliation.