The REDress Project: Honoring Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls

To commemorate Women’s History Month, the MSU Museum, in collaboration the Native American Institute and other campus partners, is announcing the arrival of The REDress Project, an impactful outdoor art installation created by Métis artist Jaime Black-Morsette. The exhibition sheds light on the crisis of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls. This thought-provoking exhibition will run from March 1 – 17, 2024, around West Circle Drive on the Michigan State University campus.

The REDress Project is a poignant display featuring approximately 60 red dresses collected through community donation. The dresses will be suspended along West Circle Drive and public spaces near the MSU Museum and the Beal Botanical Garden. Each dress symbolizes the absence and presence of Indigenous women and girls affected by violence, serving as a visual reminder of their stories and the ongoing struggle for justice.

“Through the haunting beauty of suspended red dresses, The REDress Project affirms our commitment to amplifying Indigenous voices, advocating for their rights, and standing in solidarity against the epidemic of violence on Indigenous women and girls, demanding justice and accountability,” said Kevin Leonard, interim director of the MSU Native American Institute.

Indigenous women in Canada and the United States face disproportionately high rates of violence, making The REDress Project not only an art installation but also a platform for the voices of affected families, their allies, and advocates. Founded by Red River Métis artist and activist Jaime Black-Morsette in 2009, this project has traveled to over 50 locations globally, including prestigious venues such as the National Arts Centre in Ottawa, Ontario, and the National Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C.

“The MSU Museum is honored to present this installation in collaboration with our campus partners,” expressed MSU Museum Director Devon Akmon. “This project embodies our vision of an MSU community, inspired and informed by the arts, working collaboratively, creatively, and equitably to solve problems and pursue a better world for all.”

Jaime Black-Morsette, the artist behind The REDress Project, has been using their interdisciplinary art practice to spark community engagement and drive change regarding the epidemic of violence against Indigenous women and girls for over 13 years. Their work encompasses immersive film and video, installation art, photography, and performance art, focusing on themes of memory, identity, place, and resistance.

The REDress Project installation at Michigan State University invites reflection, dialogue, and action, fostering awareness and solidarity in the ongoing fight for the rights and protection of Indigenous women and girls.

Join us from March 1- 17, 2024, to experience The REDress Project and stand in solidarity with Indigenous communities. The project was brought to MSU through a campus collaboration between the MSU Museum, Beal Botanical Garden, Native American Institute, American Indian and Indigenous Studies, Office for Institutional Diversity and Inclusion, and EAGLE.

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