10/05/2015 03:52 EDT | Updated 10/05/2015 03:59 EDT

MMIW Day Of Remembrance Marked With Red Dresses

A stark remembrance for Canada's missing and murdered aboriginal women unfurled across the country on Sunday.

Haunting displays of red dresses marked the National Day of Remembrance for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women as part of a project created by Jaime Black.

The Metis artist from Winnipeg is behind The REDress Project, which collects red dresses from the community and hangs them in public spaces as a visual reminder of the women who are no longer present.

October 4 • Red Dress Project • Jamie Black, an aboriginal artist from Winnipeg, created the REDress project five years ago as a way to raise awareness about the missing and murdered indigenous women (and two spirited people.) Right now in Canada there are nearly 1,200 unsolved #mmiw cases - with 225 women reported missing in 2014. We are facing an epidemic of violence in this country, with a prime minister who "doesn't see this as a real issue." Even in cases where it seems excruciatingly clear what happened, such as what happened to Cindy Gladeau, there is still no justice to be found for the women stuck in a system that sanctions the murder of indigenous people. Aboriginal people face much higher rates of violence than ANY other demographic (this is true in America as well) and are often forced to deal with systematic racism from the authorities. The serial killer Robert Pickton was able to continue killing for years (even though police received a number of tips about suspicious activity on his farm) because he chose victims who were aboriginal and sex workers. This country was founded on genocide and the genocide is ongoing. We face a crisis where the land and her people are being raped and killed daily. On October 4 , look for red dresses; imagine each one represents a missing woman. “We encourage people to hang up a red dress outside their home, business or office, to wear a red dress on that day and also to study what is happening, why is that happening,” Each dress is “symbolic of the violence faced by indigenous women but is also a symbol of the power of a community coming together to fight this violence." || photo by @elizabethgadd • I like to imagine the spirits of those lost are as peaceful and free as this photo appears; one with the land and the animals. #reddressproject #canada #stopharper #nomorestolensisters

A photo posted by aiyana jane (@aiyanajane) on

In Winnipeg, seven dresses hung outside the memorial for 15-year-old murder victim Tina Fontaine.

Nearly 1,200 aboriginal women in Canada have been killed or have vanished in the last 30 years — 225 in 2014 alone, according to the RCMP.

“I think it should be one of the main issues within Canadian politics,” Linda Nothing, organizer of Calgary's REDress chapter told Metro News at a gatherine on Sunday. "We are the original people of this land and we are losing our women at an alarming rate."

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