GALLERY: Raising awareness of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls

Brock’s Pond Inlet was filled to capacity Wednesday, Feb. 14 as the University community came together with a common goal: to honour and remember missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls and Two Spirit people.

Hosted by the Office of the Vice-Provost, Indigenous Engagement and the Hadiya’dagénhahs First Nations, Métis and Inuit Student Centre, the gathering was part of the REDress Project, an initiative that began as an art installation by Métis artist Jaime Black at the University of Winnipeg in 2011 to signify the loss of thousands of Indigenous women, girls and Two Spirit, lesbian, gay, trans, bisexual, queer, questioning, intersex and asexual (2SLGTBQQIA) people to colonial violence.

Brock’s REDress initiatives included a day of songs, a panel discussion, a catered lunch, a jingle dress dance and participatory workshops, as well as a weeklong display of empty red dresses throughout campus.

Third-year Social Sciences student Adreanna Defilippis was drawn to attend the proceedings after taking a class from Brock’s Vice-Provost, Indigenous Engagement Robyn Bourgeois that focused on activism.

“I want to take action and show that these people matter,” she said. “We need to raise awareness, hear the stories and continue to let people know that these horrors are still happening.”

In the midst of sombre remembrance, Bourgeois said she was inspired to see high school students, community members and Brock faculty, staff and students turn out to show their support.

“It’s clear our efforts are having an impact, and I hope it leads to more change,” she said.

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