Statement from Deputy Premier McLean on observing Red Dress Day on May 5

Deputy Premier and Minister responsible for the Women and Gender Equity Directorate Jeanie McLean has issued the following statement:

“As we approach the National Day of Awareness for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls and Two-Spirit+ People, also known as Red Dress Day, I encourage all Yukoners to observe the day and reflect on how they can contribute to ending violence against Indigenous women, girls and Two-Spirit+ people.

"For far too long, Indigenous women, girls and Two-Spirit+ people in the Yukon and throughout Canada have endured disproportionately high levels of violence. This violence, deeply rooted in racism and the marginalization of Indigenous communities stands as a grim testament to the ongoing legacy of colonialism. It has had profound impacts on Yukon communities and families with their sisters, cousins, grandmothers, mothers, daughters and aunties lost or affected by violence – some murdered, others missing and many whose lives have been tragically shortened by systemic marginalization.

"Our government remains committed to change. We are grateful for the invaluable contributions of families and survivors of MMIWG2S+ and the work of the Yukon Advisory Committee on MMIWG2S+, to develop Changing the Story to Upholding Dignity and Justice: Yukon’s Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls and Two-Spirit+ People Strategy. This strategy and its implementation are key to effecting change in our territory. We are actively collaborating with our strategy partners on its implementation, recognizing that only through a holistic decolonized approach can we achieve the systemic changes needed.

"I believe that every Yukoner can contribute to changing the story for MMIWG2S+. Whitehorse Aboriginal Women’s Circle is holding a sacred fire at Shipyard’s Park, alongside a walk and healing circle. Additionally, there are walks, rallies and gatherings happening in communities across the Yukon such as Mayo, Ross River and Pelly Crossing.

"I encourage all Yukoners to join these events if they are able. There are also many other ways to participate throughout the territory: learn about any events organized in your community; display or wear a red dress to raise awareness; learn about the history of colonization and residential schools; read Yukon’s MMIWG2S+ Strategy and ask yourself – how can I contribute to a better story?

"Together, let us stand in solidarity, committed to fostering a future where Indigenous women, girls and Two-Spirit+ people are free from violence."

Media contact 

Laura Seeley
Cabinet Communications


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