More than 100 people made it out to the Red Dress Day march through the streets of Hay River on May 5 to honour missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls.
The event was hosted by the Soaring Eagle Friendship Centre and community counselling staff but the involvement of several organizations was widely celebrated by all who were involved.
“It was incredibly important to bring awareness for that day,” explained friendship centre executive director Joanna McKay. “There are people in Hay River who have been personally affected by murdered and missing Indigenous women and girls and we really leaned on our staff to collaborate with other organizations to really make it happen.”
McKay said she was in Yellowknife last week for the eighth annual Anti-Poverty Roundtable but said she was very proud of those that supported including the Family Support Centre, RCMP, community councillors, K’atlodeeche First Nation, West Point First Nation, Diamond Jenness Secondary School, and Aaron Tambour Photography, among others.
“We are very proud and next year we want to go above and beyond to have another event for this cause and really make it an annual thing to have in the community,” McKay said.
Simara Wilson, a student with DJSS, was a main driver in ensuring that the event was marked in her school community last week, including that her fellow classmates attended the march.
She estimated that there were more than 50 DJSS students and well over 100 people who took part.
“To see the amount of people that came together and seeing people marching really made it (the movement) feel more powerful,” she said. “To see the community come together and raising awareness and rallying for this is such a big impact. It is helping voices be heard and to be spread who were otherwise silenced in the past. ”