Red Dress Day

Red Dress Day Quick Facts

2024 DateMay 5, 2024
2025 DateMay 5, 2025

Red Dress Day

Top X Posts (formerly Tweets) for Red Dress Day


Red Dress Day History

Red Dress Day seeks to raise awareness of the ongoing issue of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls in Canada. These cases often go unsolved and receive limited media attention, perpetuating the marginalization of the Indigenous community. Red Dress Day seeks to encourage more public attention on the problem, advocate for justice, promote healing, and ultimately aim to put an end to the disproportionate rates of violence against Indigenous women and girls in Canada.

The concept behind Red Dress Day originated from Métis artist Jaime Black's art installation, "The REDress Project," which displayed empty red dresses as a visual representation of the missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls. Since its inception in 2010, Red Dress Day has gained recognition throughout Canada, fostering unity and creating opportunities for education and dialogue regarding the systemic issues affecting the Indigenous community, including racism, sexism, and the societal implications of colonization.

Red Dress Day is observed across Canada, with individuals, communities, and businesses participating in various ways. Participants are encouraged to wear red clothing as a show of solidarity and support, and to hang red dresses in public spaces to promote awareness and start conversations on the issue. Many communities hold events such as vigils and educational sessions, providing a platform for affected families to share their stories and build connections. Red Dress Day is recognized annually on May 5th in Canada, coinciding with the National Day of Awareness for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls in the United States.

Top facts about Red Dress Day

  • The color red was chosen because it is believed to be the only color spirits recognize. Therefore, it is used to call back to the spirits of missing or murdered Indigenous women.
  • Studies have shown that Indigenous women in Canada are disproportionately affected by all forms of violence due to a combination of factors such as racism, sexism, and the legacy of colonization.
  • According to the Native Women's Association of Canada, there are about 582 known cases of missing or murdered Aboriginal women and girls in Canada.

Top things to do for Red Dress Day

  • There are many candlelight vigils held across Canada, from larger cities like Toronto and Vancouver to smaller, local communities.
  • In solidarity with the victims of the MMIWG crisis, most Canadians will wear something red. Schools, colleges, businesses, and government offices often dress in red to mark this day.
  • Cinemas, libraries or community centers often screen films or documentaries that help to educate people about the MMIWG crisis.
  • Watch Highway of Tears (2015). The film explores the murders and disappearances of numerous Aboriginal women along a thirty-four-kilometer stretch of highway in British Columbia.

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