April 28, 2023 - May 5, 2023
The Whatcom Museum is hosting an art installation in partnership with Whatcom Community College to honor and remember Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and People (MMIWP). Red dresses will be on display in the Lightcatcher Courtyard, representing the thousands of Native women, men, children, and non-binary people who go missing or are murdered each year.
The original “REDress Project” by artist and Métis Nation member Jaime Black began in Winnipeg in 2011 to draw attention to crime against Aboriginal women in Canada. The project has since spread to the US and calls attention to the lack of reporting, data, and justice for Native American women.
There is a lack of meaningful data collected on missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls. Some studies have been conducted, including in Whatcom County. The information is heartbreaking and triggering.
- Washington State was #2 in a study conducted by Urban Indian Health Institute.
- Seattle was #1 in a study conducted by Urban Indian Health Institute.
- Native women face murder rates 10 times above the national average. (wernative.org)
- Nationally, 86% of sexual assaults against Native women are committed by non-Native men.
- Native women are the only population that is most likely to experience sexual assault by people outside their racial or ethnic group.
Watch a video by the National Museum of the American Indian featuring artist Jaime Black (Métis), who talks more about this project: The REDress Project at the National Museum of the American Indian – YouTube
Children of the Setting Sun produced a video as a prayer to missing and murdered Indigenous women. Produced in 2019 it features the West Shore Canoe Family, with a song composed by Antone George: The Missing & Murdered Indigenous Women – YouTube
In 2016, Canada’s unions staged a powerful performance with music by A Tribe Called Red, honoring missing and murdered Indigenous women: Performance for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women – YouTube
The REDress Installation is organized jointly with Whatcom Community College Native staff and the Whatcom Museum.
The Whatcom Museum acknowledges that we gather on the traditional territory of the Lhaq’temish – Lummi People – and the Nuxwsá7aq – Nooksack People – who have lived in the Coast Salish region from time immemorial. The Museum honors our relationship with all of our Coast Salish neighbors and our shared responsibilities to their homeland where we all reside today.