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HomeNewsSmithers holding events commemorating Red Dress Day

Smithers holding events commemorating Red Dress Day

Two events are being held today (Friday) to commemorate Red Dress Day, the national day of awareness for missing and murdered indigenous women and girls and two-spirit people. 

The first event was held at the Dze L K’ant Friendship Centre to help raise awareness for those that have gone missing from the Smithers area. 

Mel Bazil, the Alcohol and Drug Program Facilitator, said Red Dress Day is held in Canada and the US. 

“There are many families who are impacted by losing members of their family. There are so many families across Turtle Island who have lost members that they acknowledge the red dress represents the missing person in the dress.” 

At the event, Bazil lit a sacred fire which he said allowed family, friends, and others to write messages to burn messages for those who have gone missing or been murdered. 

“We are not a vulnerable population. We are targeted. Canada needs to stop its genocide on our people from all angles. This is how we will create safety in our community.” 

He added that women, girls, and two-spirit peoples aren’t the only ones who are at risk, saying “there are also many missing men and boys missing in our Indigenous communities.” 

On Wednesday, the Federal Government adopted a motion to create a Red Dress Alert for when Indigenous women and girls go missing, which Bazil hopes works as intended. 

“It depends a lot on the communication strategies that occur across Canada. There are many holes in terms of how cell phones reach. If a red alert is going to work, it will work because Canada is stopping its genocide.” 

A walk from Smithers to Witset is also being held today at 3:00pm to raise awareness around those who have gone missing in the Bulkley Valley.

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