MARQUETTE, Mich. (WJMN) – In a wooded area on Northern Michigan University’s campus, you might spot dozens of red dresses hanging from the trees. Each dress represents a missing and murdered Indigenous woman, all a part of a Red Dress Installation for Women’s History Month.
“This installation is inspired by Metis artist Jaime Black up in Canada, who originally conceived the idea of the red dresses hanging. And it’s to honor missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls, and two-spirits. And to emphasize that they’re still on our minds and on our hearts and to honor those folks,” said Jamie Kuehnl, professor in NMU’s Center for Native American Studies (CNAS) and Gender and Sexuality Studies.
The U.S. Department of Justice found that Indigenous women face murder rates that are more than 10 times the national average. And 4 out of 5 Native women are affected by violence today.
“So, this installation is really significant to me,” said Amber Morseau, director of CNAS. “There has been a lot of missing and murdered Indigenous sisters of families that I have come to work with, and know through my students, through community members. So, this installation brings awareness to some of our students that are impacted by human trafficking and it calls awareness to the disproportionate amount of Indigenous women compared to other communities affected by human trafficking.”
In our web exclusive, Morseau explains what “man camps” are, and how they can be linked to missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls, and two-spirits:
On Friday, March 26 at 1 p.m. EST, CNAS and Gender and Sexuality Studies are partnering together to bring a virtual event called “Sing Our Sisters Home.” To join, click this link. The passcode is RedDress.