SSRCE Red Dress Project

On behalf of the RCH (Race Relations, Cross Cultural Understanding & Human Rights) Team, the SSRCE is launching a regional Red Dress Project from March 4 – March 15, 2019.

  • All high schools will recognize the Red Dress Project to bring awareness to missing and murdered indigenous women and girls.
  • Various school sites have scheduled ceremonies and events over the next couple of weeks/months.
  • Watch for a variety of ceremonies and activities happening in your communities that will be open to the public.

North Queens Community School Hosting Red Dress Events
Grade 9 Citizenship Education Class Recognizing Canada’s Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG) with Red Dress Events

March 4-8, 2019 is International Women’s Week and the Grade 9 students at North Queens Community School on the South Shore are looking to get people talking about an important women’s issue in Canada. While 4% of our population in Canada consists of indigenous women, 16% of missing and murdered women are from our indigenous communities.

“This is a problem in our country and one that we need to start talking about. The issue is too silent and the facts need to be better known,” says Grade 9 student Ira Reinhart-Smith.

The Grade 9’s will be installing red dress displays at North Queens Community School, Miriam Hunt Park and the Wildcat Community in hopes of creating conversation and awareness. The public are invited to visit the displays and reflect.

“Take a moment to read the signs and become informed. It’s only by creating understanding that we can begin to make change, “says Grade 9 Research Team member Sage Apostolofski.

The grade 9 class is happy to report that many high schools throughout the South Shore Region will also be participating in the Red Dress Campaign. Residents across the South Shore can expect to see dresses in their communities calling attention to the issue.

The week-long event ends on International Women’s Day – March 8 at 6:30pm with a special event. At this time the community is invited to gather at Miriam Hunt Park (Highway 8) for a Red Dress Ceremony that is being prepared by the class. The evening will consist of a sacred fire, traditional Mi’kmaq songs and drumming, as well as student performances, speeches and a special moment of reflection with music by the elementary school choir.

“We hope that the community will join us as we share our discoveries and pause to honour the many women and girls in our country who are missing or have been murdered. Helping others to understand is our goal so we really hope that people will join us,” adds Reinhart-Smith.

Rod Francis, Coordinator for Mi’kmaq Student Services with the South Shore Regional Center for Education says, “The National Numbers around MMIWG reflects a nation-wide issue that many indigenous women and girls, and their families, have continued to face. Awareness is key to lowering these numbers.”

The entire campaign, installation and event is being organised by the Grade 9 class and they are making their community proud with the work they’ve put in. “Their leadership and voices are an example of how we can all make a difference. The knowledge and understanding that these young men and women have will positively impact their communities and fellow students as they continue to move forward in their lives,” adds Francis.

Friday, March 8
International Women’s Day
6:30 PM Red Dress Ceremony at Miriam Hunt Park (9856 Highway 8, Caledonia)
Local Indigenous, Government and School Region Dignitaries will be in attendance
7:30 PM Reception at the Masonic Lodge