Students displayed red dresses in the trees next to Kootenay River Secondary School on May 5. (Photo by Kelsey Yates)

Students displayed red dresses in the trees next to Kootenay River Secondary School on May 5. (Photo by Kelsey Yates)

Creston students commemorate lives of missing and murdered Indigenous women on Red Dress Day

May 5 marks the National Day of Awareness for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls, and Two-Spirit People

Today, the red dresses hung in the trees outside of Kootenay River Secondary School look stark against the gloomy backdrop of rain clouds.

May 5 marks the National Day of Awareness for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls, and Two-Spirit People.

Also widely recognized as Red Dress Day across Canada, it is meant to honour the lives of missing and murdered Indigenous people, as well as bring awareness to the general public.

To encourage further conversations on the topic, a class of students at Creston’s high school hung dresses from the trees lining the street to symbolize the Indigenous women and girls.

“These dresses are a reflection of the power and strength of the Indigenous women that have come before us,” said Grade 12 student Annika Johnson.

“Our hope for this display is to give them a voice and to educate those who are not aware of the severity and meaning of this issue. If we all just educate ourselves, we can make the change that is so desperately needed and move forward together in reconciliation.”

As people walk or drive past the dresses, she hopes they take a moment to reflect on the meaning of them.

Fellow student Merry Palmer added that some of her peers have been confused by the display.

“So many people have no idea what this is, or that there’s so many missing and murdered Indigenous people,” she said.

“I just think that people need talk about it more to spread awareness.

Students displayed red dresses in the trees next to Kootenay River Secondary School on May 5. (Photo by Kelsey Yates)

Students displayed red dresses in the trees next to Kootenay River Secondary School on May 5. (Photo by Kelsey Yates)

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