Alberta honoured and remembered the missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls, and Two-Spirit people in recognition of Red Dress Day.
Every year, on May 5, red dresses are worn or displayed throughout Canada to symbolize hope while raising awareness for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls.
“In solidarity with family members and loved ones, people across North America hang red dresses in private and public spaces to raise awareness of missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people.
Higher rates of violence against Indigenous women, girls and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people stem from root causes that need to be addressed. We have heard from Indigenous communities, survivors, loved ones and families about how to address these urgent issues. No one should live in fear of violence, yet this has been the reality for too many Indigenous people for generations,” Minister of Indigenous Relations Rick Wilson said. “Alberta needs to be a place where everyone, including Indigenous Peoples, can live free from violence and be treated with dignity and respect. We set up the Alberta Joint Working Group to review the Calls for Justice the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls identified. The Alberta Joint Working Group’s research and engagement with families and communities helped clarify actions the Government of Alberta can take to change outcomes for Indigenous women, girls and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people.
On Red Dress Day, I want families, loved ones and survivors to know we will honour those who are lost by working together to address this crisis.”
In recognition of Red Dress Day the Alberta RCMP have created an Honouring, Empowering, and Protecting Indigenous Women document, to be transparent about the work being done with Alberta files while raising awareness and sharing information to eliminate crimes against Indigenous females.
The document was created after the Commanding Officer’s Indigenous Advisory Board expressed concerns about the limited data available showing what the RCMP was doing with these file types, an RCMP media release said.
“On Red Dress Day, we remember the many missing and murdered women, girls, and two-spirited people across our country’s treaty lands. We mourn with the families whose daughters, sisters, and mothers never returned home,” said Deputy Commissioner Curtis Zablocki, Commanding Officer of the Alberta RCMP. “We not only hold space for the memory of those we have lost, but we also remain steadfast in the hope that we will continue to reconnect individuals with their families, bring resolution to these cases, and give closure to their loved ones.”
“Today and every day we stand with our Indigenous communities in honouring the many women and girls we have lost,” said Insp. Kim Mueller, Officer in charge of Alberta RCMP Indigenous Policing. “We will continue to raise awareness of the over-representation of violence and crimes committed against this vulnerable group and are dedicated to bringing justice to these women – to ensure their voices are heard, even if they can no longer speak for themselves.”
If you or someone you know is impacted, health support services are available: https://www.rcaanc-cirnac.gc.ca/eng/1548700698392/1548701361628.