On May 4 at 10:30 a.m. the Wheatland Crisis Society (WCS) in partnership with the youth group Fallen Leaves will be hosting a walk for Red Dress Day in Kinsmen Park. Red Dress Day, also known as the National Day of Awareness for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls, and Two-Spirit People.
This day honours and brings awareness to the thousands of Indigenous women, girls and two-spirit people who have been the subject of disproportionate violence in Canada. MMIWG2S is a human rights crisis of gender-based and racialized violence in Canada.
Public Educator for WCS Emily Pye explained the importance of this walk is to bring light to the many lives of the women, children, and Indigenous people in general who have either been murdered or have gone missing.
“We believe that spreading knowledge and awareness will lead to the end of violence against all. This project is to make sure that those who are missing and those who are murdered never go unforgotten.”
The main goal of this event is to raise as much awareness as possible. Pye says that they encourage as many people as possible to invite their family and friends.
“We want them to bring their chairs and their blankets and their refillable cups and basically just coming and connect with us.”
The youth group Fallen Leaves will be in attendance, and they have done a lot of research and will be making speeches to share the information that have learned before the walk starts.
The Fallen Leaves are a youth group in town that came together for a common goal to raise awareness of missing and murdered Indigenous women and children explained Pye.
“They want to focus on children because they've done a lot of research and found that there are many boys who have gone missing, Indigenous boys so they don't want to just focus on the female aspect of it.”
This event is open to anyone that wants to attend Pye expressed that the WCS and Fallen Leaves hope to see people of all backgrounds that are able to come out and support, as Pye believes this is an issue that impacts everyone in Canada.
Support worker for WCS Jenna Ulrich said that apart from just the walk on Thursday, Fallen Leaves has made many decorations and information pieces to put all over Kinsmen Park to raise awareness.
“They've actually decorated red dress graphics with every name of the women and children and missing which I think is incredibly meaningful to have gone and read through every name like that to make sure that they aren't forgotten.”
Ulrich said that there will be a table with hot chocolate, cookies, and berry soup. They will also be a speech on the importance and significance of berry soup.
“So, we're really just hoping that this will be a time for many people to come and connect with one another so that conversations can happen.”
Both Pye and Ulrich said a lot of credit goes to the Fallen Leaves Youth Group for so much hard work, Fallen Leaves chose the day and time so that it coordinates with their responsibilities as well so they are able to take part and lead the discussion.
If residents need advice or someone to talk to, they can reach out to the Wheatland Crisis Society by calling 403-934-6634 or through their website strathmoreshelter.com The facility is a 24-hour facility, and all of the staff are suicide intervention trained and very supportive.
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