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May 5th, 2024

NDP statement on Red Dress Day 2024

NDP critic for Women and Gender Equality Leah Gazan (Winnipeg Centre) made the following statement:

"On Red Dress Day, New Democrats would like to honour all those who continue to work tirelessly to end the ongoing genocide of missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls, and gender diverse people (MMIWG2S+), including families, survivors, advocates and Indigenous women. For far too long this crisis has been neglected, and it is inspiring to see the work of Indigenous community members in ending the violence.

In 2023, an NDP motion to recognize the crisis of MMIWG2S+ as a Canada-wide emergency received support from all parties in the House of Commons. Indigenous women, girls and 2SLGBTQQIA+ peoples are roughly six times more likely to be murdered than their non-Indigenous counterparts throughout Canada, and 19 times more likely in Manitoba and Saskatchewan. These numbers are extremely disturbing, and leaders at all levels of government must do everything in their power to stop this ongoing genocide.

Thanks to the hard work of families, survivors and advocates, progress has been made to end this emergency. On Friday, we welcomed the historic announcement of a Red Dress Alert Pilot in Manitoba. When implemented, this alert system will notify the public when an Indigenous woman, girl, or gender-diverse person goes missing so they can be brought home safely.

Despite this critical step towards ending the crisis of MMIWG2S+, we must remember our work is not done until a Red Dress Alert is no longer needed. Almost four years after the release of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, only two of the 231 Calls for Justice have been implemented.

The NDP continues the work to deliver affordable housing, greater support for women’s shelters, and a guaranteed liveable basic income.

Safety from violence is a fundamental human right, and it’s critical we do everything we can to end the ongoing genocide against Indigenous women, girls and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people. While we celebrate our progress this Red Dress Day, we will continue working alongside families, survivors, advocates and Indigenous women until everyone in our communities is safe.”