Remembering the missing and murdered

The REDress project is on display at Saskatchewan Polytechnic until May 6, 2019. (Peter Lozinski/Daily Herald)

Saskatchewan Polytechnic has created red dress displays at its four main campus locations to honour Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG) and to recognize May 5, the National Day of Awareness for MMIWG. The displays will be up from May 4-6 in P.A., Regina and Saskatoon. The Mose Jaw campus has a permanent MMIWG display.

The Prince Albert display features a variety of red dresses hanging from trees along the walkway between the technical and academic building.

It also features a table near the cafeteria documenting some of Canada’s MMIWG and inviting people to write down the name of someone they know who is missing or murdered.

Each of Sask. Polytech’s displays feature red dresses to symbolize the lives of MMIWG.

“According to certain Dakota spiritual beliefs, the colour red is sacred and is the only colour spirits can see. The spirits of the Indigenous women and girls who are no longer with us will see the dresses and know that they have not been forgotten,” the institution said in a press release.

“The REDress exhibit concept was originally created by Winnipeg-based Métis artist Jamie Black as an aesthetic response to the thousands of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls in Canada.

“Through displays, such as the MMIWG REDress display, Sask Polytech is bringing attention to important Indigenous issues. Having Indigenous presentations, artwork and ceremonies on our campus communities helps our Indigenous faculty, staff and students see their culture and history reflected on campus.”

In a written statement Indigenous strategy coordinator Deanna Speidel spoke about the importance of the display.

“Sask Polytech’s Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls REDress displays bring about awareness and attention to this important issue in our campus communities,” she said.

“These displays evoke a presence through absence. The more people are talking about Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, the less we will forget.”

Officials from Saskatchewan Polytechnic were not available for comment.

The Prince Albert display and a post from the Saskatchewan Polytechnic Indigenous Students Facebook Page also acknowledged Two-Spirit individuals.

Two-spirit individuals are not recognized in the Saskatchewan Polytechnic press release.

Memorial walk planned for Happy Charles

The Prince Albert display also includes information about the second annual healing and awareness walk, set to begin tomorrow at 10 a.m. at the PACI parking lot.

The drug and alcohol-free event is in honour of Happy Charles, who has been missing for two years and was last seen at PACI.

The walk is meant for personal healing and to raise awareness of the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women in Saskatchewan and across Canada.

All are welcome to join for whatever time they have available.