News & Stories


Red Dress Day – Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls, and Two-Spirit People

April 29, 2024

In 2010, a Metis artist based in Winnipeg, Manitoba hung hundreds of empty red dresses in public places to represent the missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls, and two-spirit people (MMIWG2S). Her aim was to bring awareness and confront the violence this population experiences. May 5th has been officially recognized as Red Dress Day; a day to honour Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls, and Two-Spirit People.

According to a report published by the RCMP in 2014, 1,017 women and girls who identified as Indigenous were murdered between 1980 and 2012 — a homicide rate roughly 4.5 times higher than that of all other women in Canada.

A national inquiry was launched in 2016, and over three years 231 calls to justice were developed from the inquiry to create lasting change in this country. These calls to justice are recommendations for governments, businesses, and individuals.


Calls for all Canadians include the following:

  • Denounce and speak out against violence against Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA people.
  • Decolonize by learning the true history of Canada and Indigenous history in your local area.
  • Learn about and celebrate Indigenous Peoples’ history, cultures, pride, and diversity, acknowledging the land you live on and its importance to local Indigenous communities, both historically and today.
  • Confront and speak out against racism, sexism, ignorance, homophobia, and transphobia, and teach or encourage others to do the same, wherever it occurs: in your home, in your workplace, or in social settings.
  • Protect, support, and promote the safety of women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA people by acknowledging and respecting the value of every person and every community, as well as the right of Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA people to generate their own, self-determined solutions.
  • Create time and space for relationships based on respect as human beings, supporting and embracing differences with kindness, love, and respect. Learn about Indigenous principles of relationship specific to those Nations or communities in your local area and work and put them into practice in all your relationships with Indigenous People.

As part of our commitment to truth and reconciliation, the Calgary Drop-In Centre is developing a three-module training series for staff to help us enact these calls to action, which will be released soon.

For more information about the national inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls, and two-spirit, visit Reclaiming Power and Place: The Final Report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls