Red Dress Day honours the memory and lives of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls, and 2-Spirit+ people across Canada and the US.

Started in 2010 by Métis artist Jaime Black, the day has grown into a movement to educate and create awareness and calls to action for systemic change.

Red Dress Day is on May 5, however, we will be recognizing this important movement and amplifying community initiatives throughout the month of May through displays, learning opportunities and a community event.

The Truth:    

  • Indigenous women and girls are five times more likely to experience violence than any other population in Canada and this violence tends to result in more serious harm.
  • Indigenous women make up 16% of all female homicide victims, and 11% of missing women, even though Indigenous people only make up 4.3% of the population of Canada.
  • Violence against Indigenous women and girls is systemic and a national crisis that requires urgent, informed and collaborative action.
  • Current public data on MMIWG2S (Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls, and 2-Spirit+ people) oversimplifies and underrepresents the scale of the issue, yet still demonstrates a complex and pervasive pattern of violence against Indigenous women and girls who are often targeted because of their gender and Indigenous identity.
  • From 2001 to 2014 the average rate of homicides involving Indigenous female victims was four times higher than that of homicides involving non-Indigenous female victims.

(Source:  The Assembly of First Nations)

Message from New Westminster Police Department:

Red Dress Day is a day where we remember and honour the lives of Indigenous women, girls, and two spirit individuals who have tragically been taken away from us. We continue to work in collaboration with Indigenous leaders, elders, stakeholders and communities to build relationships and take proactive approaches to preventing crimes against Indigenous women, girls, and two spirit individuals. In addressing MMIWG we look to education, mentorship, cultural practices, and community-based programs as our best tools to keep Indigenous people safe. We have also worked internally to improve how the New Westminster Police Department conducts our investigations into missing Indigenous women and girls. In doing this we have changed many of our investigative procedures and policies to address gaps and solve MMIWG cases. The New Westminster Police Department extends our sincerest gratitude to individuals, communities, and organizations who continue to offer support and guidance to us.

Participate in the Red Dress Campaign:

  1. Create your own display: Show your support by putting up your own display for the month of May at your residence or business. Consider painting your windows red, designing a red themed window, putting up a red dress cut out or hanging a red dress in your window or tree.
  1. Take the time to Learn: The following links provide resources that you can use to learn more:
  1. Wear Red: Wear red on May 5th and/or wear a Red Dress Pin throughout the month of May. Share a photo on social media with the hashtags: #MMIW, #MMIWG2S, #RedDressDay, #WhyWeWearRed, #NoMoreStolenSisters 
  1. Visit a Community Display: Throughout the month of May, Red Dress displays will be set up throughout the community. Take a moment to reflect and honour the lives this world has lost. A list of community displays are noted below.
  1. Attend New Westminster’s Red Dress Day Event, presented in partnership with Spirit of the Children Society.
    Hyack Square
    Friday, 1:00 - 3:00 pm
    May 5
  1. Take action beyond Red Dress Day: The article link below shares 7 calls to action for Indigenous allies. Non-Indigenous peoples have a role to play in the fight for justice for missing and murdered Indigenous women in this country. 
    Beyond Red Dress Day 7 Calls to Action for Indigenous Allies
    Indigenous Ally Tool Kit:Tips on How to be an Indigenous Ally
     
  2. Register for the Red Dress Beading Workshop. Learn to bead a simple but unique pattern and bring awareness to the Indigenous women and girls who have gone missing. Hang or wear your beaded dress to help their lost spirits find their way home. All supplies are provided but feel free to bring your own beads with you.  

 

Community Displays

New Westminster City Hall, 511 Royal Ave:

From May 3-6, City Hall will be lit red in honour of Red Dress Day.

Public Space Displays:

From May 1-31, red dress displays will be set up in public spaces throughout the community with an effort to spread the displays into every neighbourhood.

 

Sponsors:

This campaign has been made possible thanks to the support of the following sponsors:

Presenting Sponsor:  Spirit of the Children

 

Need More Details:

Contact:  specialevents@newwestcity.ca