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Kingston, Ont. commemorates Red Suit Day for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women – Kingston

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Eighteen red gowns hung from lamp posts along University Avenue on the Queen’s University campus.

These dresses are meant to represent missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls, gender non-specific, and Two-Spirit people.

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The purpose of the display is to raise awareness of the issue.

“Genocide. That’s how it’s been phrased, it’s a genocide of Indigenous and Two-Spirit women and girls,” said Queen’s Deputy Vice-Principal, Indigenous Initiatives and Reconciliation, Jan Hill.

“The statistics speak for themselves. They say Indigenous women and girls are 12 times more likely to be murdered or go missing than any other women in Canada.

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As of June 2021, the Native Women’s Association of Canada estimated that approximately 4,000 Indigenous women were missing across the country.

A national survey was conducted on this issue, resulting in over 200 calls to action to governments, institutions and organizations to help protect Indigenous women.

“Because of all the societal issues that we face as peoples, there is still a strong feeling, in my opinion, that we are still seen as expendable,” Hill said.

A ceremony was also held at Confederation Park on Thursday afternoon for Red Suit Day.

There was a red shawl show, a sacred fire and people shared stories and experiences of family members and friends who have tragically been victims of violence.

“I had an aunt who was missing,” says Lorie Young. “We found her about two years ago, I think. We were looking for her. She was therefore on the list of missing and murdered Aboriginal women.

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Dresses at Queen’s will be removed at the end of the day and will be picked up next Thursday for the Moose Hide campaign walk on campus.

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The Moose Hide campaign was started by Indigenous men for missing and murdered Indigenous women, and their march next week is expected to bring more attention to the subject.

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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