Red Dress Day is May 5. Started in 2010, it is (finally) gaining traction, with more awareness than ever.
This original post was written in 2018 and updated today (2023):
Database to Record the Statistics
Information and knowledge about and support for Missing and Murdered Indigenous People (MMIP) database is spreading. If you are unaware (as I was) of what this is, please check it out and add your support. The number of indigenous or native women and girls that are missing and/or have been murdered is staggering. Help to spread the word and bring about justice for these women and their families.
This database, created by Annita Lucchesi, a doctoral student at the University of Lethbridge in Alberta, includes data from both Canada and the USA from 1900 onward. I learned of the database from my sister, currently the Dean of Liberal Education at the same university. The Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women project does not (currently) receive any funding from any government or academic facilities. Hopefully, that will change, and soon. So far, 3148 cases have been documented, but many more (close to 25,000) are suspected.
National Crisis in Canada and USA
This issue should be treated as a national crisis in both countries! In fact, I remember an election promise by current Prime Minister Justin Trudeau that he would treat these missing women as a priority. What is the government waiting for? This MMIW database is a good start. Hopefully, it will generate more support (from the right people)than any previous research on the subject.
A feature on CTV news in Ottawa provides an update on how far Red Dress Day has come since its inception while also suggesting what still needs to be done to further support this crisis.
At least 28 Indigenous women in Manitoba have died due to violence since May 2020, said Sandra DeLaronde, team lead for the Manitoba MMIWG2S+ implementation team. The majority were in Winnipeg.
The House of Commons unanimously backed a motion Tuesday declaring the deaths and disappearances of Indigenous women and girls a Canada-wide emergency. It also called for funding a new system to alert the public when someone goes missing.
Most of the money announced to fulfil the inquiry’s 231 calls to justice became stuck in government bureaucracy, and it has not made it to the front lines and the Indigenous women and families who need it.The Canadian Press
Photo Credit: CTV News