Karly Blats photo Qualicum First Nation chief councillor Michael Recalma stands infront of red dresses hung in the atrium at Parksville city hall during a blessing ceremony on Nov. 27. The red dresses are intended to be a visual reminder of the more than 1,000 missing and murdered Indigenous women in Canada, whose cases remain unsolved.

REDress display officially opens with blessing at Parksville city hall

Dresses a visual reminder of the more than 1,000 missing and murdered Indigenous women in Canada

A blessing and a formal opening of the REDress display took place Tuesday (Nov. 27) at Parksville city hall, where the 12 dresses hang in the atrium.

The red dresses are intended to be a visual reminder of the more than 1,000 missing and murdered Indigenous women in Canada, whose cases remain unsolved. They will hang at city hall until Dec. 10 and coincide with the period of the UN’s 16 Days of Activism Against Gender Based Violence.

Related: REDress Project expanded in community

The project is organized by the Canadian Federation of University Women of Parksville-Qualicum, the displays are based on The REDress Project started by Winnipeg-based artist Jamie Black in 2011. Black designed the installations to be an aesthetic response to the issue of missing and murdered Indigenous women across Canada. The artist’s intent is to draw attention to the gendered and racialized nature of violent crimes against Aboriginal women.

During the opening ceremony, Qualicum First Nation chief Michael Recalma blessed a sacred flame and all in attendance had a moment of silence for the missing an murdered women.

“We need to keep this reminder alive, we need to keep looking for reminders… it is a very sad situation,” said Parksville mayor Ed Mayne at the ceremony.

The project uses red dresses specifically because in Indigenous communities red is said to be a powerful and sacred colour —the colour of life and blood.

Oceanside RCMP Staff Sgt. Marc Pelletier said the number of missing and murdered Indigenous women in Canada is tragic.

“Each dress represents someone’s daughter, someone’s mother, so please keep them in your hearts and minds, not just for the week… but for the rest of the year,” he said. “This should never have happened and hopefully we’ve learned from it.”

 

Val Gunn, president of the Parksville-Qualicum Canadian Federation of University Women, lights a sacred flame with Rev. Andrew Twiddy of the Anglican Parish of St. Anne and St. Edmund during a blessing ceremony for the 12 red dresses hanging in the atrium at Parksville city Hall. The red dresses are intended to be a visual reminder of the more than 1,000 missing and murdered Indigenous women in Canada, whose cases remain unsolved. - Karly Blats photo

Just Posted

Pole-climbing thieves pilfering wire in Parksville Qualicum Beach area

Repairs are costly and thefts jeopardize public safety

Green Party leader Elizabeth May talks eliminating fish farming in open ocean pens

May stops in Qualicum Beach as part of Island campaign

Qualicum Beach council discusses helping out Orca Place residents

Town considers offer of temporary jobs in the future

Winter preparation underway for mid-Island highways

Drivers reminded to ready vehicles for changing conditions

‘Dirty Money’ in Nanoose Bay: Dr. Peter German to speak at ElderCollege

‘This is an evolving study’: presenting up-to-date information on B.C. organized crime

Scheer, Trudeau, Singh haggle over potential minority government outcome

If you believe the polls, it appears the Liberals and Conservatives are neck-and-neck

Scooter rider suffers life-threatening injuries in crash in Nanaimo

One person airlifted to hospital in Victoria after collision on Wall Street on Thursday

Campbell River homicide suspects arrested in Vancouver

Two men remain in custody, but have not been charged

Canucks beat Stanley Cup champs 4-3 in a shootout

Leivo nets winner, Vancouver dumps St. Louis for fourth straight win

‘The more you test, the more you find’: Beef recalls a sign of success, experts say

Despite appearances, experts say a recent rise in major recalls is not a sign of food supply problems

Talk to your kids about vaping, B.C.’s top doctor says

B.C. health officials have discovered the first vaping-related illness in the province

Alberta truck convoy plans counter-protest at climate rally with Greta Thunberg

United We Roll organizer says similar protest planned for Swedish teen’s event in Edmonton

Green Party leader Elizabeth May rolls through Vancouver Island to boost a party stronghold

Mocks media, evokes Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela and promises change

With $4M investment, Camosun College offers first sonography program on Vancouver Island

Starting in May 2020 students from Vancouver Island can pursue a career in sonography

Most Read