Events in the Smithers community were held today (Thursday) to remember the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG) for Red Dress Day.
The Dze L’kant Friendship Centre held an event this afternoon to raise awareness and to provide education.
Community members were invited to the MMIWG mural in the afternoon to light a candle, enjoy bannock and to gather around a fire.
Red dresses have also been hung across the community to represent the women and girls who have been murdered or are missing.
Additionally, students from Muheim Elementary attended the event
MMIW Support Worker with the friendship centre Mavis Banek said that the dresses are empty to recognize the women that should be wearing them.
“Red is really a calling back of the spirits of these women and allowing them a chance to be among us and have their voices heard,” she said.
Banek added that to honour the spirits people should walk softly.
Additionally, staff at the Friendship Centre were wearing ribbon dresses and Banek had some made for the victims’ families.
“There are other days where we do March, we do rallies, we do want justice, demand justice, there’s been how many calls for justice that we want to happen we’ll take part in those in a supportive way as well but, today we’re going to honour the spirits of the empty dresses,: she said.
Red Dress Day originally started as the Red Dress Project in Canada and the United States in 2010 by Indigenous artist Jamie Black.