How red dresses are a symbol for missing and murdered Indigenous women.
In a haunting but captivating scene, red dresses lay hanging in the wind, purposefully placed there as a sign of remembrance and harrowing symbol of Indigenous women who have been murdered or gone missing.
Métis artist, Jaime Black, initially developed the REDress Project as an art installation at the University of Winnipeg in 2011, but it has since grown to reach multiple communities that have duplicated the cause as a way of showing support.
It has also played an important role in the creation of Red Dress Day, which lands on May 5 in Canada. On this day, which is also referred to as National Awareness for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls- we remember those individuals by embracing community healing, as outlined on the Ontario Native Women’s Association website.
Jamie’s REDress Project is “an aesthetic response to the more than 1000 missing and murdered Aboriginal women in Canada,” as indicated on JamieBlackArtist.com. This is a critical, national issue, in which Jamie’s response acts as a way to educate our communities about this devastating reality by installing this project in multiple spaces across the US and Canada. This will ultimately help draw attention to the “gendered and racialized nature of violent crimes against Aboriginal women.”
The project now has a permanent exhibit at the Canadian Museum of Human Rights, where individuals have the opportunity to learn about the REDress Project and its impact.
Visit JamieBlackArtist.com for more information and to educate yourself about the REDress project.