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Quesnel remembers the murdered and missing

Red Dress Day event held Sunday

Red dresses hung through the community in Quesnel Sunday (May 5) to mark the National Day of Awareness for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls.

Brenda Bonin of the Quesnel Tillicum Society organized this year’s event, where there was an opening prayer at the missing and murdered monument on the river walk.

Bonin spent 30 years with the school district as a First Nations support worker and said she has witnessed the loss of several female students through murder, drugs and suicide.

Kelli Paddon, Parliamentary Secretary for Gender Equity, noted the red dress has become a symbol of loss for those who have been taken too soon, and a call to end violence against Indigenous women, girls and 2SLGBTQIA+ people.

“It is imperative that we continue to uplift and listen to the voices of Indigenous people and support self-determination of Indigenous communities in taking steps towards healing and justice. We also must address the root causes of violence, including colonialism, racism and misogyny.”

From 2009 to 2021, 490 Indigenous women and girls were victims of homicide in Canada. In this timeframe, the rate of homicide of First Nations, Métis and Inuit women and girls was six times higher than the rate among their non-Indigenous counterparts. In Canada, Indigenous women and girls are 12 times more likely to be murdered or missing than any other women in Canada, said Paddon.

- With a file from Monica Lamb-Yorski

Angie Mindus

About the Author: Angie Mindus

I began my journalism career in daily and weekly newspapers in Alberta.
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