Red Dress Day

May 5 is the National Day for Awareness of Missing & Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls and Two Spirit people (MMIWG2S), also known as Red Dress Day. It’s a time to acknowledge and honour the memories of missing loved ones and the lives that continue to be impacted by gender-based violence.
Red dress hanging in a tree


Métis artist Jaime Black helped inspire the red dress movement, where red dresses are hung from windows and trees to represent the pain and loss felt by loved ones and survivors.

Originally starting as the REDdress art installation, Red Dress Day became a grassroots movement across North America. The project was made up of 600 community-donated red dresses, which were later placed in public spaces throughout Winnipeg and across Canada.

The artist chose the colour red after speaking with an Indigenous friend who told her that is the only colour spirits can see. Red dresses are used to call the spirits of missing and murdered women and girls back to their loved ones. The goal was to speak to the gendered and racialized nature of violent crimes against Indigenous women and to evoke a presence by marking absence.



Support is available for those impacted by missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls and Two Spirit+ people. For assistance, call:

  • 1-844-413-6649: A national, toll-free, 24/7 support call line is available to provide support for anyone who requires immediate emotional assistance related to missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls and 2SLGBTQI+ people.
  • 1-855-242-3310: Hope for Wellness Help Line The Hope for Wellness Helpline offers immediate help to all Indigenous people across Canada. Online chat is also available, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to offer immediate support and crisis intervention.
  • 9-8-8 or 1-833-456-4566: Crisis Services Canada: A safe space to talk, 24 hours a day, every day of the year.