HEU Red Dress Event Toolkit

Red Dresses hanging on trees

Are you and your local interested in organizing a Red Dress event in your community? Building on the experience of Red Dress events organized by HEU members, this toolkit provides an overview of how to organize a Red Dress event.


Red Dress events started with the Red Dress Project, an art installation by Jaime Black that toured Canada.

Today, these events are community events organized by local groups that want to raise the issue of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls and Two-Spirited People (MMIWG2S) in their communities.

Why hold a Red Dress Event?

  • Raise awareness – Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls and Two-Spirited People is an issue across the country and in every community. It affects Indigenous communities everywhere. Despite this, it is not a topic that often gets media and broad public attention. Holding a Red Dress event creates an opportunity to raise awareness about this issue in your community.
  • Strengthen your local’s role in the community
  • Create partnerships and collaboration with local community groups
  • Build relationships – These events allow Local members to connect with and build relationship with Indigenous community groups and leaders in your community.


As of publishing this toolkit (April 2022), many Provincial Health Officer restrictions around COVID-19 pandemic have been lifted and outdoor gatherings are permitted. However, in the event that COVID-19 restrictions are once again imposed, please keep current public health restrictions in mind when planning your events and follow the PHO orders on gatherings to keep your community safe: www2.gov.bc.ca/gov/content/covid-19/info/restrictions#pho-order

If you are looking for alternatives to in-person gatherings, there are ways to hold Red Dress events virtually. For instance, you could host or co-host an online event through Zoom, featuring local Indigenous leaders to speak on the MMIWG2S issue.