Last Friday marked Red Dress Day, a day to raise awareness and remember missing and murdered indigenous women and girls (MMIWG).
Starting with a drum ceremony at the Rainy River First Nations (RRFN) Band Office the walk proceeded to the highway before turning up route 71 to the RRFN powwow grounds.
In the drum room Jessica Wilson of Binesiwag Center for Wellness addressed the crowd: “We come together for an incredible cause, so I want you to walk with pride, walk with intent and walk with people around you and know that there are still people out there, our sisters are still missing…I was a 17 year old girl who went through a lot of things, I could have been one of those people.”
Students from many area schools were invited to take part and learn about the alarming rate at which indigenous women and girls in Canada go missing or are murdered.
The report out of the National Inquiry into MMIWG showed that between 2001 and 2015 Indigenous women and girls accounted for almost a quarter of female homicide victims despite only representing five per cent of women in Canada.
At the powwow grounds RRFN Chief Marcel Medicine-Horton presented a red jingle dress, created by a local regalia maker, to the crowd on which each of the jingles was the name of a missing or murdered Indigenous woman. As Medicine-Horton read some of the names he was overcome with emotion as the dress held dozens of names.