Sat. Jul 13th, 2024

City of Brampton Commemorates Red Dress Day to Honor MMIWG2S: :Bring awareness to the historical injustices faced by Indigenous women, girls, and Two-Spirit people” Says Rowena Santos

The City of Brampton is observing Red Dress Day to honor the memory of the missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls, and Two-Spirit people (MMIWG2S), recognizing the profound loss their families and communities continue to endure.

In a concerted effort to raise awareness about the racial and gender-based violence these groups face, the City has partnered with The Indigenous Network and Peel Regional Police for a poignant art installation. Inspired by Métis artist Jaime Black’s The REDress Project, red dresses will be displayed at Ken Whillans Square and various Brampton Fire and Transit locations throughout the city from May 2 to the end of May 2024. The installation will include educational signage to inform visitors about the significance of the red dresses and the urgency of the issues at hand.

This violence is deeply rooted in systemic issues such as racism, sexism, and the historical impacts of the residential school system, contributing to the disproportionately high rates of violence experienced by Indigenous women and girls. The City of Brampton has taken steps to address these issues, declaring gender-based and intimate partner violence an epidemic in 2023 and committing to actions that respond to the Calls for Justice from the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls.

Mayor Patrick Brown emphasized the city’s commitment, stating, “In recognizing Red Dress Day, the City of Brampton stands in solidarity with the missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls and Two-Spirit people, honoring their memory and acknowledging the profound loss felt by their families and communities. Through initiatives like The REDress Project, we shed light on the systemic issues contributing to this ongoing violence.”

Regional Councillor Rowena Santos highlighted the importance of community involvement, “As a community, we need to recognize and bring awareness to the historical injustices faced by Indigenous women, girls, and Two-Spirit people. With collective action and unwavering commitment, we can rewrite this narrative of suffering into one of empowerment and justice. Let’s come together and recognize the work that still needs to be done, illuminate the path forward and stand in solidarity to end the epidemic of violence against MMIWG2S in Canada.”

The City’s Equity Office, which includes a Senior Advisor of Indigenous Relations, plays a crucial role in these efforts, guiding Brampton’s journey toward reconciliation and inclusivity respecting Indigenous culture.

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