The Swift Current Branch Library was host to around 40 women a day early for Red Dress Day. 

Many of them wore shawls, skirts, and other articles of red clothing in honour of missing and murdered indigenous women, girls, and two-spirited people. Recognizing the historical injustices, and those of today, was a large part of why they had gathered. 

Amongst them were elders from the Nekaneet First Nation, and the Lii Bufloo Métis Local #35, along with other interested parties.  

Organizing the event for all gathered parties was Red Dress Awareness Southwest, headed up by committee member Taneshea Francis. She had arranged for the elders to speak, and to address the crowd about the various factors surrounding Red Dress Day and its origins.  

"Redress Day was started by a Métis artist," shared Francis. "She did an exhibition where she hung up hundreds of empty red dresses in the exhibition space to represent all of those missing and murdered indigenous women, girls and two-spirit people. Red Dress Day was inspired by that strong imagery to bring awareness to missing and murdered indigenous women, girls and two-spirit people."  

Not only was there a chance to learn about the women, girls, and two-spirit people that the dresses represent, but attendees were also able to participate in a beading workshop after the main presentation.  

The conversations inspired hope in some and spread awareness to others while acknowledging the reality of the world for many indigenous peoples. In the end, if all they did was help spread the word, Francis is happy with that progress. 

"Our main goal was to bring that awareness because if people don't know then they can't help," said Francis. "There's no way for people to make a change if they aren't even aware of an issue. So we just want to bring the awareness part to our community and as well support the people who are affected in their families."