Released on May 4, 2023
Family members of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls will observe Red Dress Day on May 5 at the opening of an art exhibit that honours their loved ones.
Officially known as the National Day of Awareness for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls and Two-Spirit People, Red Dress Day is held each year to raise awareness of the disproportionate number of Indigenous people who are impacted by gender-based violence.
"May 5 is a day to remember Indigenous women who have been impacted by gender-based violence, to know their names, stories and honour their lives," Minister Responsible for the Status of Women Laura Ross said. "The Heart Spirits exhibit at the legislature will create a space for education and help extend the discussion on ending gender-based violence beyond Red Dress Day, so that other families don't have to endure such an unimaginable loss."
The Heart Spirits Project by Saskatchewan artist Cheryl Ring contains 200 handmade clay hearts; each in honour of an Indigenous person who is missing or was murdered. The art exhibit will be open to the public at the Legislative Building Cumberland gallery throughout the month of May.
First Nation and Métis communities and organizations can apply for funding available through the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls+ Community Response Fund. This fund will provide $400,000 for eligible projects led by First Nation and Métis communities, organizations and institutions partnering with Indigenous entities to promote and enhance prevention and build safety for Indigenous women, girls, Two Spirit+ people, their families and communities.
“As we observe Red Dress Day, we stand in solidarity with the families of missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls, and their relatives. It is important that we acknowledge and honour the lives lost and those who continue to be impacted by the ongoing violence," Minister Responsible for First Nations, Métis, and Northern Affairs Don McMorris said. "The development of the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls+ Community Response Fund has been guided by the voices and experiences of Indigenous women. Through this fund, we aim to provide support to Indigenous women, girls, and Two Spirit+ people across the province. Last year, twelve community-led projects received support through this fund."
This initiative provides a total of $400,000 for eligible projects led by First Nation and Métis communities, organizations and institutions partnering with Indigenous entities to promote and enhance prevention and build safety for Indigenous women, girls, Two Spirit+ people, their families and communities.
Saskatchewan joined with the other Provinces to act on recommendations from the Final Report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls since it was released in June 2019. A progress report is tabled each year.
"Red Dress Day is dedicated to honouring missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls, supporting their families, and ensuring that, in Saskatchewan, they can live without violence or discrimination,” Justice Minister and Attorney General Bronwyn Eyre said.
A support line is available for those impacted by missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls and Two Spirit+ people. For immediate emotional assistance, call 1-844-413-6649.
Red Dress Day grew out of the REDress Project, which was created by Métis artist Jaime Black in 2010.
To learn more about artist Cheryl Ring and the Clay Hearts project, visit https://www.cherylringvisualartist.com/exhibitions.
For more information, contact:Maryann Anderson
Parks, Culture, and Sport and Responsible for the Status of Women Office
Justice and Attorney General