VIDEO: Niagara College, Brock University hanging red dresses


Published May 5, 2022 at 10:50 am

A lone red dress hangs off a tree at Brock University as students are preparing to acknowledge Red Dress Day. (Photo: Brock University)

Students on the Brock University’s St. Catharines and Thorold campuses, as well as Niagara College’s Welland and Niagara-on-the-Lake campuses, have red dresses hanging off dozens of trees today (May 5) as a tribute to Indigenous women whose lives were lost and forever impacted by colonial violence.

May 5 is now well-established as Red Dress Day, a national day of awareness for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls, and Two-Spirited people in Canada.

Established at Brock in 2018 and then joined in partnership by Niagara College in 2021, all campuses will lower flag today to acknowledge its significance.

Niagara College Director of Student Services Lianne Gagnon said that Red Dress Day and the REDress Project are important tributes to victims and survivors, and acknowledge the impacts that violence has on families, friends and communities.

“It’s only by shining a light and providing information that we can take the steps to expose the truth of the violence. That’s why we feel it’s so important to educate our students and staff about the violence perpetrated against Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA+ people, in the hope of eliminating it,” said Gagnon.

“As a postsecondary provider in Niagara, we are proud to stand with our partners at Brock and take a lead role in informing our communities to end the violence and work towards a more diverse and inclusive future for all.”

At Brock University, interim president Lynn Wells echoed similar sentiments.

“On this incredibly difficult day, I encourage the entire Brock community to reflect on the injustices inflicted on Indigenous communities throughout Canada’s colonial history, and how colonialism continues to cause hurt, pain, and suffering to this day,” said Wells.

All students have been encouraged to support and participate in a Red Dress Day Walk in downtown St. Catharines. The walk will take place from St. Catharines City Hall to the First Ontario Performing Arts Centre from 5:30 (opening at city hall) to 7 p.m. (closing at the PAC).

Niagara College released the following video to explain what the day meant to them.

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