Posted on March 7, 2012 by Tia Lalani

To help raise awareness of the disproportionate number of missing and murdered Aboriginal women in Canada, Augustana is honoured to host Métis artist Jaime Black’s REDdress Art Installations the week of March 5 to 9, 2012.

Aboriginal women in Canada experience disturbingly high levels of violence, with rates of domestic violence and sexual assault 3.5 times higher than non-Aboriginal women. Sisters In Spirit, a research, education, and policy initiative created by the Native Women’s Association of Canada, has documented more than 600 cases of missing and murdered Aboriginal women in Canada, and believes that the scope of violence is actually far greater than this estimate.

To help raise awareness of the disproportionate number of missing and murdered Aboriginal women in Canada, the U of A is honoured to host Jaime Black, a Métis artist from Winnipeg, and her REDress Art Installations at various U of A locations, including the Augustana Campus in Camrose, the week of March 5 to 9, 2012.

Through the collection and public display of empty red dresses, Jaime Black “seeks to draw attention to, and create space for dialogue around, the gendered and racialized nature of violent crimes against Aboriginal women”. The dresses will occupy public space to draw attention to and raise awareness of the systemic sexism and racism that marginalizes Indigenous women in the country.

We invite you to Augustana to view the dresses and to join Jaime in a presentation on Wednesday, March 7, 2012, from 3:30 to 4:30 PM in the Dr. Roger Epp Conference Room #2-004 (Augustana Forum) to learn more about the visual art installation and its message.

The REDdress Project has been exhibited at a variety of national venues including the University of Winnipeg, the Manitoba Legislature, the Women’s Worlds International Feminist Gathering in Ottawa, Thompson Rivers University in Kamloops, BC, and most recently at the University of Manitoba. With over 300 red dress donations from people across the country, the project continues to grow and raise awareness of this often overlooked Canadian issue.

Augustana’s Aboriginal Students Office is currently accepting red dress donations on behalf of the artist. If you or someone you know has a red dress you could donate, or if you would like to give a financial donation to assist in acquiring more red dresses, please contact Petra Cegielny at 780-679-1562 or email petra.cegielny@ualberta.ca.

To learn more about Jaime Black and her REDdress Project, check out CBC’s 8th Fire Dispatches: REDdress Project online at http://www.cbc.ca/doczone/8thfire/2011/12/reddress-project.html. For more information on events organized at the U of A visit us on Facebook: “REDdress Project – at the U of A”.


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