The Red Dress Day Exhibit is part of a national day, May 5, to raise awareness of and to honor Missing and murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, MMIWG. Originally held in 2010 in Canada, it now continues annually and has expanded cross the United States and Mexico.
Red Dress Day calls attention to the disproportionate rates of violence and murder of indigenous women and girls. Indigenous women and girls, as young as one and as old as 85, are ten times as likely to be murdered than the national average.
The goal of the Red Dress Exhibit is to inspire each person to take a moment to consider the epidemic of violence against the thousands of women and girls that are murdered or who disappear each way. The Red Dress Day movement is a way to harness and direct this awareness to the public.
U.S. Secretary of the Interior, Deb Haaland, the first indigenous woman to hold that position, announced the creation of a new unit to investigate missing and murdered Native Americans.
Indigenous activists wear red because they say it is the only color the spirits can see and they wear it so the souls of those lost can be with them. Activists frequently wear red handprints on clothing, masks, and faces.