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Red Dresses displayed at University of Waterloo to honour MMIWG2S


Red dresses have been hung at the University of Waterloo in honour of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls and Two-Spirit people.

Red Dress Day is held annually on May 5.

“We have days like this so that we can remember these beautiful people, two-spirited people and transgender people that have suffered this pain,” Myeengun Henry, the elder and knowledge keeper at University of Waterloo, said.

“A lot of these women had no court cases after to resolve the reason they were murdered in the first place. They’re almost like lost spirits on this earth who still never had answers.”

The red dresses are displayed along with posters sharing the personal stories of women, girls and two-spirit people who were affected.

“The first time I ever spoke about Red Dress Day was in 1995 on a university campus. That’s 34 years ago and we still need to talk about it,” Jean Becker, the associate vice president of Indigenous relations at the University of Waterloo, said.

Red dresses lay spread out across a table at the University of Waterloo to honour Missing and Murdered Women, Girls, and Two-Spirit people. May 2, 2024. (Stefanie Davis/CTV News)

In 2019, the final report from The National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls was published. It highlighted 231 calls for justice.

Becker said there hasn’t been follow through on all of those calls.

“Who’s in charge of it? Who’s making sure that these things are implemented?” she said.

Henry said society hasn’t progressed as much as he would like.

“We’re still seeing tragedies, especially in northern communities and urban centres where human trafficking of First Nations people is still in abundance,” he said.

Becker said everyone can help in making a difference.

“On the public side, it’s just speaking up. It’s saying to your government officials or to whoever will listen to us: do something.”

The dresses will remain inside the Faculty of Health over the weekend, before being displayed outside on campus next week. Top Stories

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