Red Dress Installation Highlights Violence Against Native Women

During Native American Heritage Month, visitors to Hillman Hall can interact with the Red Dress Project commemorative installation. The piece displays 21 red garments— from dresses and infant onesies to jumpsuits and a shawl— suspended from the ceiling on black hangers.

The contrast of the red dresses hanging against the white walls is visually striking. However, the color was chosen because some indigenous cultures believe red is the only color that spirits can see. The REDress Project, created by Canadian artist Jaime Black in 2014, inspired the installation. Wall panels detail the ways in which non-Indigenous cultures are responsible for the epidemic of violence against Indigenous women in North America, as well as highlighting native history, instances of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women (MWIW) in Missouri, and policy recommendations to combat the issue.

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