Canadian flags at municipal offices will fly at half on May 5 in order to commemorate the National Day of Awareness for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls and Two-Spirit People.
The day, also known as Red Dress Day across the country, honours the thousands of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls. It also encourages residents to learn and build awareness to end the same type of violence.
Red Dress Day was inspired by Métis artist Jaime Black’s REDress Project installation, in which she hung empty, red dresses to represent the missing and murdered women.
The National Day of Awareness for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls and Two-Spirit People was prompted by the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, which organized 15 community hearings and spoke with 2,386 people. The final report of the inquiry was released in June 2019 and featured 231 calls for justice.
According to the report, these calls represent important ways to end the genocide and to transform systemic and societal values that have worked to maintain colonial violence.
“It’s important that we continue to acknowledge and commemorate the National Day of Awareness for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls,” said Cornwall Mayor Justin Towndale. “This remains a serious national issue, which has affected Indigenous communities across the country.”
“In our region, we recognize and remember the mothers and daughters from Akwesasne who have been taken from us.”
Although Indigenous women account for less than five per cent of the Canadian population, they make up 24 per cent of female homicide victims.
To read the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls’ final report, visit: https://www.mmiwg-ffada.ca/final-report/