Honouring the lives of MMIWG2S+ on Red Dress Day

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The REDress Project, Jaime Black
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Beaded Red Dress Pins by Mairi Brascoupé, Indigenous Cultural Resident, NAC Indigenous Theatre

Today (May 5th) is Red Dress Day, a day honouring the lives of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA (Two-spirit, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer, Questioning, Intersex and Asexual) people.

The REDress Project was created by Jaime Black, a multidisciplinary artist of mixed Anishinaabe and European descent. It is an art installation that draws attention to and creates space for dialogue around violence against Indigenous women and girls.

The dresses act as spectral reminders of both their absence through acts of violence and also the powerful presence of Indigenous women and girls in shaping a way forward for future generations. The dresses call on the public to confront the dangerous reality faced by Indigenous women and girls across the globe and remind us of our collective responsibility to create safe, thriving communities.

As Jamie Black explains, “Through the installation I hope to draw attention to the gendered and racialized nature of violent crimes against Indigenous women and to evoke a presence through the marking of absence.”

Black’s art practice engages in themes of memory, identity, place and resistance and is grounded in an understanding of the body and the land as sources of historical and cultural knowledge.

Learn more about Jaime Black’s REDress project on her website.

If you find yourself in need of emotional support, we have a list of Indigenous-focused mental health resources and helplines available.

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