Red Dress Day Project 2024

May 5 is a day to honour the Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women, Girls, and 2 Spirit individuals of Canada, and support Indigenous communities that continue to suffer due to these crimes and unsolved cases that don’t receive the same urgency as similar ones involving people of other backgrounds. Last year, in honour of this day, Granville Island commissioned Chief Chepximiya Siyam’ Janice George to create an art installation for Ron Basford Park comprising of 60 ‘Red Dresses’, hung throughout the trees in Ron Basford Park. We invite you to walk among the installation, which will be up until Tuesday morning (May 7).

The Red Dress Day Project is a collaboration between Chepximiya Siyam/Chief Janice George and Granville Island. Chepximiya has used fabric in a one-dimensional design that evokes missing women, who should, in life, fill all three dimensions of the dress. The installation was done by visual display artist, Kamila Gougain.

Red Dress Day is a day of to honour and raise awareness and education about missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls (MMIWG), and two spirited people. The day of acknowledgment was started in 2010 by Indigenous artist Jaime Black to focus on the issue of missing and murdered Indigenous women.

Missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls (MMIWG) refers to the high and disproportionate rates of violence and number of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls in Canada.

The artist felt the colour red represented a calling back of the spirits of these women, allowing them a chance to be among us and have their voices heard through their family members and community. Red also symbolizes “our lifeblood and that connection between all of us, and both vitality and violence” said Jaime Black in her artist statement.

According to Assembly of First Nations, Indigenous women are three times more likely than non-Indigenous women to be victims of violence, and the average rate of homicides involving Indigenous female victims was four times higher than that of homicides involving non-Indigenous female victims, demonstrating a complex and pervasive pattern of violence against Indigenous women and girls who are often targeted because of their gender and Indigenous identity.

We thank Chepximiya for her artistry in interpreting the Red Dress Project for Granville Island.

Chen kwen mantumi


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