Nation-Based Sovereign-Based Government

Beyond Red Dress Day in FNT2T

May 20, 2021

Treaty 2 Territory – May 5th was The National Day of Awareness for MMIWGT, often known as Red Dress Day. The Red Dress as a symbol for MMIWGT was initiated in 2010, when artist Jaime Black created an art series called The REDress Project to highlight violence against Indigenous women. Since that time, red dresses are intentionally hung in places to represent the thousands of missing and murdered relatives. Many people today continue to express themselves and raise awareness through various mediums of art. For example, artists bead little red dresses as pins and earrings or pendants, or use red felt to make pins. We love to see how the red dress as a symbol has been interpreted and expressed since. At the provincial level, Manitoba has designated October 4th as the provincial day to Honour MMIWGT. For many, including FNT2T, the Red Dress has been adopted as an important symbol every day as we remembered and honoured those peoples, their families, and our nations affected.

While days of acknowledgement are important, it is the commitment beyond acknowledging that drives change and protects our people. It has been over a week since May 5 and journalist Brielle Morgan, wrote a piece outlining 7 Calls to Action for Non-Indigenous Allies. She says, allies must 1) Read and share the MMIWG+ final report, especially the calls for justice. 2) Hold those in positions of power to account. 3) Take responsibility for white privilege. 4) Listen to Indigenous people and show up for them. 5) Donate to organizations serving Indigenous women. 6) Hang a red dress in your window. 7) Remember that saviours aren’t needed – solidarity is. This is a good list to share with out non-Indigenous friends in T2T and beyond.

Looking within, FNT2T Peacemaking system holds space in the Bizhiw (Lynx) circle for supporting families affected by violence, education/awareness, and promoting wellness. A MMIWGT Sub-circle was established in May 2021 as an act of commitment. We are in the early stages of establishing and visioning our role in the treaty 2 territory and FNT2T governance model and look forward to engaging with our councils and the nations.

By: MMIWGT Sub-Circle

Last modified: May 21, 2021

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