May 5 marks the National Day of Awareness for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls and Two-Spirit People in Canada. Also known as Red Dress Day. First established by artist Jamie Black, this day is to call awareness to the victimization that Indigenous women and gender diverse people continue to face in society.
The impact of residential schools, the 60s scoop and socio-economic conditions like poverty, sexism, racism and discrimination are factors that have contributed to this disparity.
In May 2019, a 1,200 page report was released by the National Inquiry on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls. The report includes over 230 recommendations and concludes that the murder and disappearance of Indigenous women and girls is an ongoing genocide.
The Peace River Regional District (PRRD) is committed to uniting against systemic violence and discrimination by fostering strong partnerships based on open communication with our First Nations neighbours, and upholding a zero-tolerance policy for racism and discrimination.
In addition to the lowering of the flags at the Dawson Creek office on May 5 to honour those we have lost, a ceremonial red dress was raised to open the Regional Board Meeting on May 4, 2023.