The REDress Project

Red Dress Project 3

The REDress project, created by Métis artist Jaime Black, highlights the issue of the missing & murdered Indigenous women in Canada.

October 4th is a day to honor the lives of over 4,000 Indigenous women tragically taken from their loved ones. It is also a day meant to raise awareness about the ongoing violence, at significantly higher rates toward Indigenous women and girls than any other demographic in Canada.

This effort was started by the Sisters In Spirit Vigil (SIS) organization and the Native Women’s Resource Centre in Toronto nine years ago, and includes support services for the family members of the missing and murdered women (#MMIW).

The group began in answer to the lack of resources through any government services and the continuing lack of public response on any meaningful scale.

Current Prime Minister, Stephen Harper outraged many when he said in an interview on the CBC last December,  that looking into this issue, particularly with a national inquiry was “not high on his government’s radar”.  To date, despite a later outright denial of what he said in that recorded video, his government has continued to do nothing about the issue.

In response, artist Jaime Black chose to highlight the issue with her project designed to represent the women with red dresses in a photo display that is being shown in various galleries across the country. In various interviews she said she would like people to hang their own red dresses wherever in their community or wear one on October 4th in solidarity for the women and their families.

The public can also participate in the honoring by attending various candlelight vigils in various cities and/or with a virtual candle online project:


Please see Jaime’s full story at

For more information about the Sisters in Spirit group, see:

5 thoughts on “The REDress Project

  1. This is a wonderful project Robyn (by the way what part of the world are you currently inhabiting?) Its very difficult to convince the white Caucasian population of the importance of this issue. There is a lack of trust between the two cultures that gets in the way of acceptance. I have heard the RCMP arguments and they are valid for white social structures. They are not valid for First Nations social structures. For instance although the crime rates are comparable between the societies, First Nations very seldom deliberately engage in life threatening crimes. The big elephant under the table in white society is that the leading cause of death in women from 18 to 65 are loved ones and family members. More women in that age group are killed by family than die from cancer, car accidents and heart disease combined.That is the argument being used by the RCMP and it is right – for whites – it is not correct for First Nations.

    With that said , you have an uphill battle trying to get acknowledgment of the issue because it implies incompetence on the part of the federal police. It is important to keep the pressure on and this project does that. My prayers are with you.


    • Thanks, Paul. It’s true lateral violence is a big issue, but what the rest of society has to realize and get to work on is reversing this very real consequence of systemic racism. We have also taken issue with the RCMP reports that say 70% of the violence is lateral because that only rates the cases that have been solved and it does not include the stats from all the other police forces in the country, Yes, we do agree, my friend, we all have a very long way to go.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I often naively believe that Canada treats its indigenous people better than we do here in the US, but then you remind me of issues like this and I don’t know. Neither country has much to be proud about on the subject. Here’s hoping enough voices are raised that your government has to take it seriously.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Pingback: Freshly Seen at Jill’s Scene in January – Jill's Scene

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