Area Indigenous groups and First Nations are coming together Thursday to mark the National Day of Awareness for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls.
Indigenous communities and supporters are invited to the London Peace Garden in Ivey Park from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. for a day of speakers, sharing circles, a sacred fire and activities like corn doll making.
“All are welcome as we honour and uplift women, girls, men, boys, two-spirit, families and community impacted by the tragic loss of family and friends,” Atlohsa Family Healing Centre, an event sponsor, said on social media.
Other sponsors include My Sisters Place, Southwestern Ontario Health Access Centre (SOHAC), N’Amerind (London) Friendship Centre, the Chippewas of the Thames First Nation's justice department, Oneida Nation of the Thames Healing Lodge, Western University’s Indigenous student centre and Fanshawe College.
The national commemoration of missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls and two-spirit people, also known as Red Dress Day, takes place every May 5. It serves as a reminder of the missing and a call for action.
The event was inspired by the REDress Project, an art series created by Jaime Black to draw attention to the alarmingly high rate of violence against Indigenous women, girls and 2SLGTBQ+ (Two-spirit, lesbian, gay, trans, bisexual and queer) people.
Ivey Park is located northwest of the Thames Street-York Street intersection in downtown London.
Calvi Leon, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter, London Free Press