LETHBRIDGE, AB – Red dresses are hanging outside Lethbridge City Hall throughout Wednesday (May 5) to honour thousands of missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls and two-spirited people in Canada.

The dresses started as an art installation in Manitoba in 2011, and it’s since expanded across the country as a way to spark important conversations.

“For some reason, activism is turned away by people,” said Pamela Beebe, Lethbridge’s Indigenous Relations Coordinator. “This is a way to break down any barrier that might exist. It’s in nature, it’s visible, easily accessible for anyone to see, and have these discussions to honour those missing and murdered women and girls that we’ve lost and that are still out there.”

Beebe notes that Indigenous ancestors are drawn to the colour red, so it’s worn on this National Day of Awareness to call out to them to help with this important cause.

According to reports from Statistics Canada, Indigenous women are almost six times more likely to be victims of homicide than non-Indigenous women.