Pictured above: participants from the red dress pin workshop.
The following message includes topics that may trigger strong emotions, especially for those with lived experiences. It is recommended that we all check in on ourselves and access the resources available to us to ensure we are taking good care of our mental health. For mental health and self-care resources, visit here.
The National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls, and Two Spirit People (MMIWG2S) released their Final Report in June 2019. The report detailed over 2,380 accounts from family members, survivors of violence, experts and Knowledge Keepers during two years of evidence gathering. Two volumes of the report conclude that persistent human and Indigenous rights violations are the root cause of Canada’s high rates of violence against Indigenous women, girls, and Two Spirit people.
Sections 11.1 – 11.2 call on educators across all levels to provide awareness to the public about missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls and Two Spirit people and about the issues and causes of violence they experience. In this digital age, we have the ability to spread the truth, but we are also at odds with misinformation borne from ignorance and racism. It is our duty to their families and communities to advocate for the truth of Canada’s complacency in crimes against Indigenous women, girls, and Two Spirit people.
Oct. 4, the National Day of Action for MMIWG2S, is dedicated specifically to raise awareness for people to learn more about the violence against Indigenous women, girls, and Two Spirit people and how they can support the 231 Calls to Justice of the National Inquiry’s Final Report.
We encourage staff to use and share resources like Sheila North’s and Leonard Yakir’s documentary 1200+ and its introduction, which the College has free access to until Oct. 9.
The Government of Canada’s National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls always has free resources available, including direct access to the Final Report itself.
Many Indigenous organizations have additional programs that support the National Inquiry and education on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls, and Two Spirit People like the Southern Chiefs’ Organization Inc. MMIWG2S and Violence Prevention.
Educating yourself and challenging misinformation will help motivate social and structural change in which Indigenous women, girls, and two spirit people and their families won’t have to suffer from violence or injustice.
Staff and students can express their learning efforts by displaying a red dress in their windows, or by visiting the Indigenous Student Support Centre (F209) at the Notre Dame Campus on Oct. 4 to write a message of remembrance or hope on a red dress cutout.
We also acknowledge that this observance may be emotionally taxing, especially for Indigenous employees. Please remember that, outside of formal events in which they agree to participate, our Indigenous colleagues may decline discussing this observance because of its emotional and cultural impact.