Red Dress Day 2024: Take Action on May 5

May 5 is Red Dress Day, a day to remember and honour missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA+ peoples (MMIWG2S+). Red Dress Day serves as a painful reminder of the ongoing genocidal crisis of missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people and invites solidarity and action.  

Origins of Red Dress Day

The roots of Red Dress Day can be traced back to the powerful art project of Canadian Métis artist Jaime Black. In 2010, Black initiated the “REDress Project” as a visual reminder of the staggering number of missing and murdered Indigenous women across Canada. Black hung red dresses in public spaces, from trees to lamp posts, creating a stark contrast against the landscape, evoking both sorrow and resilience.

What started as an art installation soon morphed into a movement. Indigenous Peoples, allies and advocates across Canada and beyond embraced the symbolic red dress as a rallying cry for awareness and action. Red Dress Day emerged as an annual event, bringing people together to honor the lives lost and demand justice for the victims and their families.


Currently, Indigenous women make up 16 per cent of all femicide victims and 11 per cent of all missing women. Indigenous women, girls and 2SLGBTQQIA+ peoples are also 6 times more likely to be murdered than their non-Indigenous counterparts. These high rates of violence have drawn widespread expressions of concern from national and international human rights authorities, which have repeatedly called for Canada to address the problem.

However, nearly four years after the release of the Final Report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, and two years following the release of the National Action Plan, only two of the 231 Calls for Justice have been implemented, while an implementation timeline has yet to be released.

SANTA FE, NEW MEXICO – JANUARY 19, 2019: A sign made by Native American activists hangs in the Plaza in Santa Fe, New Mexico, during the 2019 Women’s March. The sign refers to missing Native women and the establishment of ‘man camps’ in fracking and oil drilling sections of the United States. (Photo by Robert Alexander/Getty Images)

Threats faced by Indigenous Women and 2SLGBTQQIA+ defenders

In 2023, the Special Rapporteur on Indigenous Peoples and the Special Rapporteur on Contemporary Forms of Slavery, including its Causes and Consequences expressed deep concern over the high rates of sexual assault, exploitation and sex trafficking experienced by Indigenous women, girls and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people and defenders in proximity to temporary resource extraction labour camps associated with the Coastal GasLink and Trans Mountain pipeline construction sites, colloquially known as ‘man camps’.


Sign our e-action demanding Canada to protect the rights of Indigenous women and 2SLGBTQQIA+ land and water defenders.

OTTAWA September 18, 2023: Amnesty International Canada supports the Search the Landfills rally organized by the families of Marcedes Myran, Morgan Harris and Indigenous grassroots organizations.



Read Tiny House Warrior Kanahus Manuel’s powerful interview with Gender Rights Campaigner Elishma Noel Khokhar to learn more about the threats faced by Indigenous women and gender diverse people on the frontlines of land and water defense.


To mark this day, join us by wearing something red to express our solidarity with Indigenous women, girls and 2SLGBTQQIA+ victims, survivors and families.

SEPTEMBER 18 2023: Amnesty International Canada attends the Search the Landfills International Day of Action march and rally in Tkaronto


There are many candlelight vigils, round dances and events held across Canada. Find and attend a solidarity initiative near you!