Students at the Walker Development Centre and Grand Forks Secondary School observed Red Dress Day on Thursday, May 5 to honour missing and murdered Indigenous women.
Red Dress Day is also known as the National Day of Awareness for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls.
Walker Development Centre teachers Lisa Chapman and Amanda Sjoden said that students learned about the significance of the issues that Indigenous women and girls face, and that racism against Indigenous peoples is still prevalent in Canada.
Students at the Development Centre created wooden plaques to honour missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls. The names of the victims were included on the plaques to: “Say Their Names.”
Sjoden said this was an effort to help students “make a personal connection to the stories of these individuals.”
Grand Forks Secondary School also displayed red dresses outside the building on Thursday.
Teacher Laura Matheson said each dress told the story of a missing or murdered Indigenous woman or girl. The social justice class at GFSS participated to promote empathy and bring the women to life.
GFSS students were also encouraged to wear red to show their support, and have conversations around the issues that Indigenous women and girls face.
“Gaining an education and deeper understanding of historical and current challenges, but also ways of moving forward – that’s all part of truth and reconciliation.” Matheson said.