One of our members, Todd Warfield, worked with St. John’s United Methodist Church to create a Red Dress Art Display. Over twenty red dresses were put on display outside on the church grounds. Two dresses were displayed within the front entry way of the church as well to remind those worshipping that Sunday of the event and the cause. Individuals were provided a brochure explaining why this exhibit existed and how to donate toward Strong Hearts, which is an Indigenous organization that helps Indigenous women that are dealing with domestic and sexual abuse.
The New England Committee on Native American Ministries created a video for churches to use for Native American Ministries Sunday. It is designed to bring awareness to the issue of Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG) and encouraging individuals to wear red on May 5th. May 5th is the National Day of Awareness for Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women and Girls. The video is available here.
Four out of five Native women are affected by violence today. #MMIWG is to shine a light on Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women and Girls. The infographic below gives some high level statistics regarding this issue.
Urban Indian Health Institute published a report in 2018 regarding the U.S. related data.
In Indian country, families sometimes wait days for the authorities to respond, and frequently lead the only search parties. What’s worse, sometimes the record of that missing indigenous person isn’t documented, leaving questions unanswered for decades, leading to gaps in information, missing person cases unsolved and perpetrators roaming the streets.
Native American women and girls face an epidemic of violence and indifference in the US. Over recent decades, thousands are believed to have disappeared, but the exact number and their fates are unknown because there is no single federal database tracking the missing.
Red Dress Project
The REDress Project, focuses around the issue of missing or murdered Aboriginal women across Canada. It is an installation art project based on an aesthetic response to this critical national issue. The project seeks to collect 600 red dresses by community donation that will later be installed in public spaces throughout Winnipeg and across Canada as a visual reminder of the staggering number of women who are no longer with us. Through the installation the artist hopes to draw attention to the gendered and racialized nature of violent crimes against Aboriginal women and to evoke a presence through the marking of absence. The image below is a portion of an installation at the National Museum of American Indian in Washington, DC.