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Honouring Aboriginal Women Through Poetry

Thinking back on the tragedies and the mere insanities of life, I am forced to think about the large scale violence that was carried out against Aboriginal women in Canada, many of whom were declared missing or were murdered.

Like many others, Jaime Black, an artist, was also heartbroken by this news, and thus, started ‘The Red Dress Project’ in 2010. Black collected red dresses and hung them in public places throughout Canada. It was an attempt to create awareness and raise attention to the violent crimes that had been carried out against the Aboriginal women.

I wrote ‘Red’ in honor of these women, and looking at the red dresses hanging on window sills and barren trees, I pray that no one has to go through such a heart-wrenching calamity ever again.

Red

Paint your footsteps and the trees,

the broken mirrors and the fallen leaves.

No stone should be left uncolored,

as we live and breathe.

Let there be red on our lips and red in our eyes,

red in our hearts and red in the skies,

in honor of the women missing, and the

women murdered.

They lost the red in their blood,

and bled the red in their love.

My darling, the world has lost too much color,

all I see is black and white.

Today, the Red Dress Project has become widely known and thousands of dresses are donated across many cities in Canada. However, I cannot help but wonder, how many more red dresses will we have to hang to bring back color to this pale and ruptured world. Can red dresses, hanging on trees with dying branches and withered flowers, whose petals have been ripped from their very core, bring back these women?

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A fourth year student at the University of Western Ontario, specializing in Economics. Creater of #gardentalesoffical @instragram.
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