McMaster University marked the national day of remembrance and action on violence against women with a visual campaign made up of one hundred vibrant red dresses Wednesday.
They could be seen anchored to trees, buildings and signs.
It’s part of the REDress project that aims to commemorate the more than 1,200 missing and murdered Indigenous women in Canada.
Event organizer, Stephanie Morningstar, says as a national inquiry attempts to move along, the cases continue to build up.
“We’re constantly losing people,” she said. “There is a growing list on Six Nations of New Credit.”
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Vanessa Watts, with McMaster’s Indigenous Studies program, says that’s why the REDress project and a day of remembrance are so important.
“Remembering is also an act of refusal” Watts said. “Refusing to be complacent, refusing to not allow the inequities and the vulnerabilities that particular groups of women in Canada face on a daily basis to go by.”
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Between 1973 and 1994, four female students and two professors from McMaster were murdered.
Morningstar says this day is also about honouring their memory and the 14 women who were killed at L’ecole Polytechnique on Dec. 6, 1989.
“That old adage ‘lest we forget’ is really important,” Morningstar said.
“We’re reflecting and we’re remembering these people but we’re not just letting it stop at that point we’re actually taking that forward and inspiring people to action.”
McMaster University offers support through a sexual violence response co-ordinator, the Student Wellness Centre and the Anti-Violence Network.
As of Jan. 1, 2017, the university also implemented a sexual violence policy.