Red Dress Day event crafting a path to healing

Many busy hands will be remembering MMIWG2S on Wednesday.

The Timmins Native Friendship Centre (TNFC) is hosting a vigil at 10 a.m. on Oct. 4 to honour and remember the lives of missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls, and two-spirit people. The vigil will be followed by a crafting social from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Everyone is encouraged to bring whatever craft they are working on. Limited supplies for red dress crafts are being provided by the friendship centre.

“We only have so much, but if people have something that they’re working on like beading or painting or anything that they’d like to work on that they’ve already started, they’re more than welcome to bring that,” said Jaylin Renaud, TNFC Aboriginal healing and wellness co-ordinator. “Anyone can come.”

Sisters in Spirit Day, or Red Dress Day, is a time to remember those Indigenous women, girls and two-spirit people who have faced violence, been murdered, or have gone missing. It is also a time for their families and friends to get together to remember them and to heal.

Métis artist Jaime Black’s The REDress project made the red dress a symbol of missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls, and two-spirit people. Red dresses are displayed in public places to bring attention to the violence Indigenous women face.

The first Red Dress Day was recognized in 2010.

The community gatherings on Sisters in Spirit Day are a chance to support and heal, said Renaud, and the crafting is part of that.

“We often hear folks in the community asking if we have red dress pins or kits of stuff like that, so we figured why not supply the community with tools while we can,” said Renaud. “We know that it’s super hard sometimes to find the time to practice that self-care, and art can be a form of that.”

An important part of the event is offering a space to express emotions and thoughts.

“It's a form of expression and it’s sometimes how people communicate their feelings,” said Renaud. “Art is a form of healing for our community, so we wanted to tailor our programming this year to that, and give folks a new, potential way to look at healing, and allow those who do express themselves through their art and their crafts to do so in a safe place.”

Any questions about the event can be directed to

Amanda Rabski-McColl, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter,