District of Saanich staff members (left to right) Christ Murphy, Cristine Caravaca and Jason Jones hung up red dresses outside municipal hall on May 4 in honour of missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls and two-spirit people. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)

District of Saanich staff members (left to right) Christ Murphy, Cristine Caravaca and Jason Jones hung up red dresses outside municipal hall on May 4 in honour of missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls and two-spirit people. (Devon Bidal/News Staff)

Saanich marks Red Dress Day with gowns hung outside municipal hall

May 5 is National Day of Remembrance for missing and murdered Indigenous people

Two red dresses will sway in the wind outside Saanich Municipal Hall through early May to honour missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls and Two-Spirit people, and serve as a symbol for the district’s opposition to racism and violence.

After receiving a request from Ladysmith Mayor Aaron Stone, on May 3 council unanimously agreed to join in the stand against the acts of racism and violence committed against First Nations people, explained Mayor Fred Haynes.

READ ALSO: Red Dress Day honours Canada’s missing and murdered Indigenous people

Council also proclaimed May 5 as the National Day of Remembrance for Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women, Girls and Two-Spirit People in the district. A proclamation will be made annually and red dresses will hang at municipal hall to recognize those who’ve gone missing or been murdered.

The support shown by several Island municipalities followed an incident involving two men caught on camera removing red dresses from the trees alongside the Island Highway near Ladysmith.

Saanich council would like to see “a red dress trail from (municipal hall) up the highway” to send a message the violence cannot be ignored, Haynes said.

READ ALSO: Observers ‘gutted’ as pair filmed removing red dresses hung along B.C. highway

Two dresses hang high near the front and back entrances to municipal hall off Vernon Avenue and will remain for a week after the day of remembrance on May 5.

Cristine Caravaca, senior manager of the community services division, emphasized that Saanich marking Red Dress Day is important because it will help draw attention to missing and murdered Indigenous peoples and garner community support for the movement. For information Caravaca recommends visiting lilreddressproject.ca.

Do you have a story tip? Email: devon.bidal@saanichnews.com.

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, and like us on Facebook.


District of SaanichMMIW

Just Posted

Elaine Kirwin in her Expedia Cruises office talks about the future of travel. (Don Denton/Black Press Media)
Sidney travel agency charts course through pandemic

Owner of Expedia Cruises in Sidney expects smooth sailing ahead once travel restrictions lift

Oak Bay Rotary Club member Lorna Curtis takes over as District Governor of Rotary District 5020 on July 1. (Courtesy Lorna Curtis)
Former Oak Bay recreation director goes international with Rotary

Lorna Curtis takes over as district governor on July 1

Co-creatorsAdrianna Hatton and Malcolm McKenzie stand next to the little free library revealed Sunday at 9710 First St. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
Literary crowd helps opens little free library in Sidney

Located at 9710 First St., the book sharing box features original art and reclaimed wood

Deep Cove Elementary School principal Shelley Hardcastle (right) and vice-principal Mary Kaercher help to restock Reay Creek with fish – in this case, coho fry – after a recent bleach spill killed hundreds of fish. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)
North Saanich’s Deep Cove Elementary School helps to restock Sidney’s Reay Creek

Restocking followed bleach spill that killed hundreds of fish in creek

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

The Great Ogopogo Bathtub Race has been held in Summerland as a fundraising event. Do you know which Canadian city introduced this sport? (Black Press file photo)
QUIZ: A summer’s day at the water

How much do you know about boats, lakes and water?

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Flowers and cards are left at a makeshift memorial at a monument outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School to honour the 215 children whose remains are believed to have been discovered buried near the city in Kamloops, B.C., on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Pick a Sunday:’ Indigenous leaders ask Catholics to stay home, push for apology

Indigenous leaders are calling on Catholics to stand in solidarity with residential school survivors by not attending church services

“They will never be forgotten, every child matters,” says Sioux Valley Chief Jennifer Bone in a video statement June 1. (Screen grab)
104 ‘potential graves’ detected at site of former residential school in Manitoba

Sioux Valley Dakota Nation working to identify, repatriate students buried near former Brandon residential school

Most Read