We Are All Treaty People

Statement from the Office of the Treaty Commissioner

  • Published - 05/05/2022
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  • Posted By - OTC
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The Office of the Treaty Commissioner calls on you to wear red on May 5.

May 5 is a day when we remember and honour the lives of missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls and two-spirit people in Canada. Red Dress Day is about raising awareness of the crisis.

Red Dress Day started as part of the REDress project created by Indigenous artist Jamie Black who used red dresses to bring focus on the issue – wearing red and hanging a red dress became a way show solidarity with the families and loved ones left behind.

The red dress has become a symbol for the thousands of Indigenous women who have gone missing or been murdered in Canada over the years. We know that often these deaths and disappearances are not investigated.

National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls’ final report showed that human and Indigenous rights abuses are the root causes behind Canada’s rate of violence against Indigenous women, girls and 2SLGBTQQIA people.

Along with wearing red, the OTC calls on people to become familiar with the Calls to Justice from the inquiry, and work to make their workplaces, organizations, and lives, safer for all Indigenous Peoples.

We know that in the past year people have become more aware of the abuses and injustices faced by Indigenous People, with the remains of children being found on former residential school sites. People are upset and they want to know what they can do. Awareness of the prejudice faced by Indigenous women, girls and two-spirit people, and understanding the truth of the residential school system are an important step, as all of this trauma is connected.

Along with wearing red, and learning more, consider attending an event on May 5, like the candle-light vigil at Wanuskewin hosted by FSIN.