By: Jing Zhao

This week, you may have noticed that there are many red dresses hanging on every corner of the campus, from the library to the Student Union Building. You may be wondering why there are suddenly so many red dresses. It is part of the RED Dress Project going on as part of Aboriginal Cultures Week. The RED Dress Project is to raise public awareness on the problem of missing and murdered Aboriginal women in Canada. The color red represents honor, and the red dress aims to honor, while also drawing attention to Canada’s lack of action towards, Canada’s 1181 missing and murdered indigenous women and girls. It is also appealing to protect Aboriginal women from gendered and racialized violent crimes. The RED Dress Project was conceived by Jamie Black, and more information can be found on web page: http://www.theredressproject.org.

Image courtesy of Jing Zhao
Image courtesy of Jing Zhao

The Mawi’ omi Aboriginal Student Centre, located in the Kelley Memorial Building in room 236, held it’s Mawi’ omi Open House on October 25th for this special event. They had an opening prayer and sang a song in order to honor indigenous women in Canada. UPEI president Alaa Abd-El-Aziz, National Chief Dwight Dorey, AWAPEI president Judy Clark, and Native Council of PEI (NCPEI) president Lisa Cooper showed up to support this initiative at UPEI.

Image courtesy of Jing Zhao
Image courtesy of Jing Zhao

The Mawi’ omi Aboriginal Student Centre is a home for aboriginal students, which welcomes students of all backgrounds as a place to communicate with each other and promote awareness of Aboriginal culture and social issues. You can often find students studying there between classes and participating in programs the Centre puts on. Aboriginal Academic Advisor Sherri Russell can provide students with both academic and personal success supports. If you want to contact Sherri, her number is (902) 620-5125 and email serusell@upei.ca. The Facebook page is Mawi’ omi: Aboriginal.

Helping with the RED Dress Project is PEI’s Aboriginal Women’s Association (AWA), which was started in 1986. This association turns Aboriginal Women’s issue into positive actions. Their vision is “To promote holistic healing, health, and wellbeing for all Aboriginal women across PEI.” This organization raises public awareness of missing and murdered Aboriginal women and girls. The contact information is (902)-831-3059 and email info@awapei.org. More detail information is on Facebook page Aboriginal Women’s Association of PEI.