Saskatchewan is commemorating Red Dress Day to increase awareness of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls in Canada. 

Red Dress Day is commemorated annually on May 5. The event grew out of the REDress Project, which was created by Métis artist Jaime Black in 2010. Since its beginnings as part of the REDress Project, Red Dress Day has grown into a national movement. In honour of Red Dress Day, government is encouraging staff and the public to wear red, and to take the time to learn more about the event and the issue of missing Indigenous women and girls. 

“Red Dress Day is an opportunity to remember those who are missing and who have been lost, and to reflect on what we can do to address this important issue,” Justice Minister and Attorney General Gordon Wyant said. “As a government, we have taken numerous steps to improve responses to missing persons, reduce human trafficking and provide supports to at-risk individuals.”

The 2022-23 budget included approximately $6.4 million for the new Saskatchewan Trafficking Response Team, a specialized enforcement team dedicated to addressing illegal weapons, drugs and human trafficking. New amendments to provincial human trafficking legislation also recently came into effect that add new safeguards for survivors of human trafficking, and provide law enforcement with expanded powers to search for victims of human trafficking. 

The budget also includes a continued investment in First Nations and Métis communities across Saskatchewan. Approximately $233.2 million in funding is targeted for First Nations and Métis organizations or individuals. This includes an investment of $800,000 for community-led Indigenous projects, $400,000 of which is directed specifically at issues raised in the National Action Plan for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls.

“Our government is committed to meaningful, and lasting reconciliation with First Nations and Métis communities across our province,” Minister Responsible for First Nations, Métis and Northern Affairs Don McMorris said. “These investments will support community-led Indigenous projects, including $400,000 for initiatives that address issues related to the National Action Plan for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls.”

“Today is a day to not only commemorate Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, but to also raise awareness and provide education on the importance of addressing gender-based violence,” Minister Responsible for the Status of Women Office Laura Ross said. “The Status of Women Office will continue to work toward addressing gender-based violence to ensure the safety of everyone in our communities.”