'We are still here:' Red Dress Day aims to raise awareness for MMIWG
Several Indigenous women gathered at the legislative building Thursday morning to honour Red Dress Day, an annual event aiming to raise awareness for missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls (MMIWG).
Betty Nippi-Albright, an NDP MLA and residential school survivor, said they are calling on the provincial government to commit to ending violence against Indigenous women who are disproportionately affected.
“Reconciliation cannot occur without that commitment, a commitment to Indigenous led solutions and the adoption of trauma informed approaches, a respect for Indigenous knowledge and a willingness to sit down and work together,” she said.
In recognition of Red Dress Day, the Federation of Sovereign Indigenous Nations (FSIN) Women’s Commission launched an updated Declaration to Honour First Nations Women and Girls and a request to implement the National Inquiry’s 231 Calls to Justice.
Chief Trisha Sutherland of One Arrow First Nation said they are calling on all levels of government to adopt their declaration and join them in solidarity.
“We stand here today, shoulder to shoulder with our families that have experienced a loss we would never wish on anyone,” she said.
The Saskatchewan government voted on and passed the motion Thursday.
“We continue to engage with Indigenous people so we can better understand how to address this urgent and tragic issue,” said Minister of Justice Gordon Wyant.
“While we remember these individuals (who have gone missing or murdered) today, we need to be remembering them each and every day of the year.”
Vice Chief Aly Bear said Red Dress Day is important not only for awareness but also to take care of the next generations.
“We need our society, institutions, and workplaces to be safe spaces where we no longer live in fear for ourselves and our family’s safety daily,” she said.
“We want to honour those families and we want to honour those women and we don’t want to forget who they are.”
Nippi-Albright said it’s essential to put faces to those who have gone missing.
“It isn’t just a number or statistic, this is a human being,” she said. “This is a person that is an auntie, that is a mother, that is a community member.”
Family members of MMIWG were also at the legislature to share their stories.
Loretta Henderson’s daughter, Krista Kenny, went missing in 2009 when she was 16-years-old. Her remains where found shortly after she went missing. Henderson said although it’s been 13 years, it is still difficult.
“She was kind, she was loving, she helped out so many people, she leaves a lot of family that we still struggle today missing her,” she said. “Every day we talk about her, always mention her because she was my only daughter. I look after her daughter now, her daughter is now 13.”
Gwenda Yuzicappi, mother of the late Amber Redman, said her daughter was only 19-years-old when she went missing and it took two years and 10 months to find her remains. She said only 42 per cent of her daughter’s remains were found.
“I come here as a mother, I come here to speak for my daughter. I am my daughter’s voice and I will continue to be her voice,” she said.
Joyce Keepness, grandmother of Tamra Keepness who went missing 16 years ago when she was five years old, said every day, there is something that reminds her of Tamra.
“It’s something that you never forget. It stays with you,” she said. “This little person, are we ever going to find her? Is she out there?”
Vice Chief Bear said she has been in contact with the government and RCMP on how they can address issuing Amber Alerts for missing Indigenous people, referring to Frank Young of Red Earth Cree Nation.
“We can’t rule out him not being abducted, so that’s what we’re here for. We’re here to continue to stand up and demand justice for our peoples, for our women, for our children and for all missing Indigenous peoples,” she said. “[We’re here to] let you know that we are still here.”
Red Dress Day is commemorated annually on May 5 which grew out of the REDress Project, created by Métis artist Jaime Black in 2010.
The FSIN represents 74 First Nations in Saskatchewan.
Regina Top Stories
CTVNews.ca Top Stories
Many Canadians remain unaware of the involvement of forced child labour in the products they buy, according to non-profit agency World Vision Canada.
Hundreds of protesters descended on the U.S. Supreme Court on Saturday to denounce the justice's decision to overturn the half-century-old Roe v. Wade precedent that recognized women's constitutional right to abortion.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau headed to the G7 summit in Germany on Saturday without a consensus from the Commonwealth to condemn the Russian invasion of Ukraine, but with a chorus of countries calling for help to overcome the fallout of the war.
The World Health Organization said the escalating monkeypox outbreak in nearly 50 countries should be closely monitored but does not warrant being declared a global health emergency.
After the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade on Friday, holding that there is no longer a federal constitutional right to an abortion, protesters and supporters of the ruling gathered at the high court's building in Washington, D.C., and in other cities nationwide.
With the nation's capital bracing for anticipated anti-mandate 'freedom' movement protests during Canada Day weekend, interim Conservative Leader Candice Bergen says her MPs are free to attend.
Ukraine's largest LGBTQ rights event, KyivPride, is going ahead on Saturday. But not on its native streets and not as a celebration.
U.S. President Joe Biden on Saturday signed the most sweeping gun violence bill in decades, a bipartisan compromise that seemed unimaginable until a recent series of mass shootings, including the massacre of 19 students and two teachers at a Texas elementary school.
A gunman opened fire in Oslo's nightlife district early Saturday, killing two people and leaving more than 20 wounded in what the Norwegian security service called an 'Islamist terror act' during the capital's annual LGBTQ Pride festival.
Organizers have decided to cancel the Elk Ridge Open due to an “inordinate amount of rain.”
A Saskatoon man whose family helped to build the Waterhen Lake Church is planning to help rebuild the church.
Saskatchewan RCMP are investigating after a two-vehicle collision occurred at the intersection of Highway 35 and Highway 5 in Wadena.
Using a trailer or an RV is an easy way for people to get out of the city and into the outdoors, but with soaring gas prices, the cost of driving with one has gone up drastically.
Winnipeg was once again pummelled by rain on Friday and the city came close to setting a rainfall record.
No one was injured but one pet died after an early morning fire Saturday.
Nearly 100 Ukrainian members of Calgary’s community marched in protest calling for the release of Azovstal Iron and steel workers, defending Mariupol from Russian attacks.
After the U.S. Supreme Court stripped away constitutional protections for abortion Friday by overturning Roe v. Wade, NDP Leader Rachel Notley demanded that everyone running to become the next leader of the UCP clarify their stance on the issue.
One city councillor hosted a town hall meeting Saturday with social agencies and police to address rising crime rates in northeast Calgary.
Fans leaving the Garth Brooks concert at Commonwealth Stadium Friday night were happy and smiling, despite some logistical issues that delayed the show and frustrated some.
A Member of Parliament from rural Alberta went live on Facebook Friday to celebrate a United States Supreme Court vote to end constitutional protections for abortion.
Hundreds of people gathered in front of Edmonton City Hall Saturday to celebrate the first large Pride event in the city in four years, and the first one in Churchill Square in eight.
Office workers are returning to Toronto but foot traffic on Mondays and Fridays hasn’t bounced back. Will it ever?
More people are commuting to offices downtown than at any point since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic but the recovery hasn’t been equal across the board, with both GO Transit and the TTC reporting fluctuations in ridership as many workers choose to work from home at the beginning and end of each week.
Every Monday, Mark Powell drives to the Burlington, Ont., pork plant where his wife died to give water to pigs on their way to slaughter.
New research has found that women are 'significantly' more likely than men to suffer from long COVID syndrome, in addition to developing different symptoms of the disease.
The summer festival season in Ottawa kicked off this weekend with thousands gathering for events across the city.
Someone called 911 from Britannia Beach at approximately 7:15 p.m. Saturday, reporting four people had fallen off a paddleboard and were floating towards the Deschenes Rapids in Ottawa's west end.
There are no reports of injuries after two jet skis collided near Petrie Island Bay in Ottawa's east end.
The family of a Vancouver police officer who died by suicide is suing the department, alleging she endured sexual assault and exploitation enabled by an "unsafe workplace culture and insufficient policies and procedures," court documents show.
The amount of fentanyl necessary to cause a fatal overdose varies from person to person, but the generally accepted size of a potentially lethal dose is just two milligrams – about the size of a few grains of sugar.
A dispute between shareholders of a B.C. numbered company that serves as a landlord for two well-known brewpubs has ended up in court.
Paramedics in Greater Montreal are stretched particularly thin this weekend, with nearly half the territory's ambulances parked due to a staffing shortage.
Police on Montreal's South Shore has located the suspect vehicle they say was involved in a hit-and-run that left a woman dead.
Friends and family of a 17-year-old girl who died in what police are calling an accident on the shore in LaSalle gathered Saturday to remember the Montreal teen who her mother said was 'was full of life.'
A 15-month dispute in British Columbia's film and television industry has ended with the ratification of a new contract for creative and logistical staff working on productions shot in the province.
All ferry sailings between two of B.C.'s Discovery Islands have been cancelled Saturday because of a lack of crew.
When Tabi Henry was little, she never questioned why everyone celebrated her birthday in costume. Until she realized Oct. 31 was also Halloween.
An Amber Alert issued by Cape Breton Regional Police on Friday has been cancelled, as the missing youth has been located safe early Saturday morning says police.
The inquiry into Nova Scotia’s 2020 mass shooting, says four pages of handwritten notes that sparked a political firestorm in Ottawa this week, weren’t immediately submitted when subpoenaed by its investigators.
'It’s in shambles': RCMP 'architects of own demise,' says criminologist after complaints in N.B. and N.S.
After a week of criticism and anger at the Mass Casualty Commission in Nova Scotia, and outcry in a rural area of New Brunswick, there are questions about the RCMP’s role in community policing.
With hundreds of students from India who attend Northern College, and other professionals from India who've moved to the city to work, organizers said they felt it was time to bring everyone together to celebrate their culture with the rest of the community.
A group of friends doing work on a camp in MacGregor Bay helped contain what could have been a devastating fire in Killarney Provincial Park.
A series of marathons are being held this weekend in Sault Ste. Marie as part of the Community Strong Festival.
A fire at a townhouse complex in Kitchener Friday night has resulted in extensive damage.
Many in Waterloo Region are reacting to the U.S. Supreme Court overturning Roe v. Wade and what it could mean for Canada.
Norfolk County OPP are investigating after they say a pedestrian was found on the side of a road and had to be airlifted to hospital.