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The Red Dress Exhibit in Calgary Libraries

The Red Dress Exhibit in Calgary Libraries

An exhibit featuring miniature red felt dresses is visiting five libraries across Calgary in 2020. Hosted in partnership with Awo Taan Healing Lodge Society, this exhibit is a collaboration of community in support of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls across Canada.

Indigenous and non-Indigenous people were invited to sit and create a red dress at Central Library in fall 2019, and in other communities throughout the province. Each dress represents a missing or murdered loved one.

“The Library strives to be a safe space where meaningful conversations take place and community happens. I applaud Awo Taan for their Red Dress Campaign and we are proud to partner with them in the hope that it will promote cross-cultural awareness, provide healing and comfort, and help fight racism,” says Mark Asberg, CEO, Calgary Public Library.

The exhibit can be viewed at five libraries throughout March and early April. In addition to the exhibit being available while the Library is open, there will also be a presentation at each location, with personal stories guided by elders and discussions about the importance and support for this national crisis. No registration is required for the exhibit or the accompanying presentation.

View the Red Dress Exhibit at these Library locations, and join us for a presentation and discussion at each location

Central Library: March 1 – 7, 2020
Memorial Park Library: March 8 – 14, 2020
Forest Lawn Library: March 15 – 21, 2020
Crowfoot Library: March 22 – 28, 2020
Bowness Library: March 29 – April 4, 2020

About the Awo Taan Healing Lodge Society

The Awo Taan Healing Lodge Society is dedicated to supporting the emotional, mental, physical, and spiritual healing and wellbeing of women during their time of crisis and beyond. The shelter offers a full range of in-house crisis and outreach crisis, healing, prevention programs, Youth programs, Parent Link, Family Wellness Centre. Awo Taan provides wholistic support and guidance to women and children and families from all cultures.

About the Red Dress Campaign

Originating from The REDress Project, as an aesthetic response, the Red Dress has become an international symbol for MMIWG. The Awo Taan Healing Lodge Society launched the Red Dress Campaign earlier this year to provide support and awareness workshops to Indigenous and non-Indigenous people. Community outreach has included providing trained support workers to help those affected to share their stories in the hope that it will create a stronger call to action for all Canadians to address this urgent crisis.

About MMIWG

MMIWG (Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls) is a national crisis that requires the public’s awareness and engagement. Indigenous women and girls are at higher risk and over-represented in sexual exploitation and trafficking compared to non-Indigenous populations.

The plight of Indigenous women and girls in Canada has gained international attention and in 2015, the United Nations Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women called on Canada to launch an inquiry and noted its “failure to provide adequate and effective responses” to missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls.

An RCMP report, released in 2014 determined there were 1,017 homicides of Indigenous women between 1980 and 2012, revealing a rate of about 2.6 deaths a month. However, the National Inquiry into Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women and Girls noted that the 2014 RCMP report likely underestimated the true number. The inquiry also noted that Alberta had the highest number of MMWIG cases between 2015-2019. 

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