THUNDER BAY – The Walking With Our Sisters Thunder Bay Committee with support from the Public Service Alliance of Canada’s National Aboriginal People’s Circle (NAPC) today launched the Red Dress Community Care Project.
“Our goal is to create 500 pins that will be used as giveaways to families and their supports when the inquiry comes to Thunder Bay as our way of showing that we as a community care about them, that our thoughts are with them and to give them a unique pin that was made out of love for them as they enter the inquiry to speak their truth,” said Leanna Marshall, WWOS Thunder Bay chair. “These bead-ins will also double as a way of continuing to educate the public, in a safe and warm environment, about the issues around violence against women and girls, particularly as it relates to the alarming statistics around missing and murdered Indigenous women.”
In order to make this project possible, Walking With Our Sisters Thunder Bay needs organizations and community members to come on board and host the sessions under the banner of the Red Dress Community Care Project. At the sessions, participants will have the option of making either birch bark pins, red dress pins or beaded heart pins.
“We are asking organizations who want to host bead-ins to also identify skilled beaders who can host the sessions as we have kits we can furnish them with,” Marshall said.
To book at bead-in or to find out more about the Red Dress Community Care Project, contact WWOSTBAY@gmail.com.
The use of red dresses to represent missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls was originated by Métis artist Jaime Black in 2010. In her exhibit The REDress Project, Black displayed over one hundred red dresses around the University of Winnipeg campus to raise awareness about this issue. Today red dresses continue to be used across Canada as a representation of the Indigenous women and girls lost to violent crime and as a call for action to prevent future violence.