Red and orange dresses will be hung throughout Red Deer College campus and the city on Monday in memory of missing and murdered Indigenous women.
That day is United Nations International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.
“By hanging red dresses throughout our community, we hope to bring home the fact that this is not somebody else’s problem, but our own,” says Sheila Bannerman of Red Feather Women, which is among the supporters.
“Women go missing from our own community. Women are murdered and their murders deemed trivial. We hope to personalize this issue through widespread visual impact, and so encourage every person, every organization, and our city to hang a dress in a visible and impactful location on Nov. 25.”
At RDC, an education and awareness hub will take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Red Deer Bottling Forum.
A pipe ceremony and community conversation will be led by community elder and Red Feather Women co-founder Corky Larsen-Jonasson and runs 3 to 5 p.m. in the Red Deer Arts Centre foyer.
“This is a serious issue that impacts people in our community and across Canada,” said RDC president Peter Nunoda.
“By partnering with the Red Feather Women and RDC’s students’ association, we are able to encourage conversations, help educate people about what is happening, and become part the change that is long overdue.”
The activities kick off the students’ association’s 16 Days of Activism Against Gender-Based Violence, which will run until Human Rights Day on Dec. 10.
“The students’ association wants to promote the courageous voices of survivors and their families while encouraging students, faculty, staff and community members to reflect on their own actions to determine how they can best support eradicating gender-based violence,” says Jessica Hennelly, the association’s vice-president of community and wellness.