“The issue of MMIWG2S+ is a national emergency”
-Grand Chief Jerry Daniels
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: May 5, 2023
ANISHINAABE AND DAKOTA TERRITORY, MB — The Southern Chiefs’ Organization (SCO) honours Red Dress Day today.
Red Dress Day is also known as the National Day of Awareness for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls and Two Spirit People. It is observed on May 5th. The day honours and brings awareness to the thousands of Indigenous women, girls, two spirit, and gender-diverse people who have been subject to gender-based violence in Canada.
“Earlier this week, a unanimous motion was made in Parliament recognizing the issue of missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls, two spirit, and gender-diverse people as a national emergency and supporting the creation of a Red Dress Alert System to help alert the public when an Indigenous woman, girl, or two spirit person goes missing,” shared SCO Grand Chief Jerry Daniels.
“It is essential that governments of all levels work with First Nations on an urgent basis on this issue as it is indeed a national emergency. Manitoba is ground zero when it comes to MMIWG2S+,” said Grand Chief Daniels. “On May 5, we remember Morgan Harris, Marcedes Myran, Rebecca Contois, Buffalo Woman, Linda Beardy, and all the relatives we have lost due to this national tragedy. We continue to wonder about the whereabouts of so many of our loved ones, while we also seek justice for those who have been taken due to violence.”
SCO is part of Gigaanaawenimaanaanig (the Manitoba MMIWG2S+ Implementation Committee), which is organizing a Red Dress Round Dance at 12 noon today at Portage and Main in Winnipeg, Manitoba.
After the dance, there will be a Memorial Walk from Portage and Main to the Forks.
Join us on Red Dress Day to call for justice on the issue of MMIWG2S+, to honour our loved ones, and to make space for those impacted by this tragedy to reclaim their power. All are welcome. Wear red and bring your drums.
In the evening, the third annual “MMIWG2S+ Walk for Justice” is taking place from 6:30 to
9:30 pm at Oodena Circle at the Forks in Winnipeg. There will be speakers and a walk to Memorial Park. All are welcome to join this march for justice for our stolen sisters.
Locations in Winnipeg will also be lit in red to commemorate Red Dress Day, including the Provencher Bridge; Winnipeg sign at The Forks; Canadian Museum of Human Rights; the Manitoba Legislative Building; and the Winnipeg Blue Bomber Stadium/Investors Group Field.
“I stand with all those impacted by the loss of a loved one due to violence. I am especially thinking of the children who have been left behind. I extend prayers as they continue to mourn their losses,” stated Grand Chief Daniels. “I continue to call on all levels of government to work to implement the 231 Calls for Justice that resulted from the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls. Let us build a safer society for our women, girls, two spirit, and gender-diverse people.”
For anyone who requires immediate emotional support, please call the national, independent toll free 24/7 support line at 1-844-413-6649 to speak to a counsellor. This service is available in English, Anishnaabemowin, and Cree.
The Southern Chiefs’ Organization represents 34 First Nations and more than 83,000 citizens in what is now called southern Manitoba. SCO is an independent political organization that protects, preserves, promotes, and enhances First Nations peoples’ inherent rights, languages, customs, and traditions through the application and implementation of the spirit and intent of the Treaty-making process.
For media inquiries: