PHOTOS: Red Suit Day recognized in northeast Saskatchewan

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Across Canada, May 5 marks National Awareness Day for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls and Two-Spirit People. (MMIWG2S). This day coincides with Red Dress Day, inspired by an art project by Jamie Black, a Métis woman.

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She used empty red dresses to represent missing women and girls.

To raise awareness and shed light on the issue, red dresses were hung in the trees facing East 2nd Street in Nipawin in an effort to spark conversation and education.

Red robes hung from trees in the park next to Cumberland College in Nipawin to raise awareness of MMIWG2S. Omar Cherif / The Journal

“It’s actually quite haunting, when you see it in the trees. it really brings emotion, it really makes you think,” said Denise Blomquist, co-chair of Reconciliation Nipawin. It is important that everyone knows that this is a local problem and it is a national problem, the children who go to school [beside us] have family members who have disappeared or who have been murdered.

Red robes have become a symbol of MMIWG2S.  Omar Cherif / The Journal
Red robes have become a symbol of MMIWG2S. Omar Cherif / The Journal

According to Statistics Canada, Indigenous women make up approximately 5% of Canada’s total population, but 23% of missing and murdered women and girls.

Indigenous women are murdered six times more than non-Indigenous women.

The MMIWG issue has often been described as a Canadian national crisis.  In June 2019, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said violence against women amounted to
The MMIWG issue has often been described as a Canadian national crisis. In June 2019, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said violence against women amounted to “genocide” while discussing a report on it. Omar Cherif / The Journal
In Nunavut, Yukon, the Northwest Territories, as well as in the provinces of Manitoba, Alberta and Saskatchewan, this overrepresentation of Aboriginal women among homicide victims was even higher.  Omar Cherif / The Journal
In Nunavut, Yukon, the Northwest Territories, as well as in the provinces of Manitoba, Alberta and Saskatchewan, this overrepresentation of Aboriginal women among homicide victims was even higher. Omar Cherif / The Journal

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