The Lil’ Red Dress Project started as a conversation around the kitchen table and quickly grew into a family project and community initiative.
Our goal is to raise money for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls signage and to help bring awareness to broader community.
The Lil’ Red Dress Project began as a family conversation that was sparked by missing person signage in the Comox Valley and how striking it was to see multiple billboards for a young missing girl. Through our conversations, the common thread of our thought was that many of our Indigenous families would not be able to afford such signage or have the know how to began such a venture to bring light to their missing loved one. With this in mind, we began to brainstorm ideas on how we could bring more awareness, especially with the Red Dress install going up later that month by the Kumugwe Cultural Society.
As avid beaders, our family decided that we were going to try and bead a red dress pin to wear and honour MMIWG. Carla created our first pin and the rest of our family members quickly followed, creating pins to wear for awareness. The project grew very quickly and we soon had orders coming in for pins and the Comox Valley poured their support into this project. We decided that the funds raised from the sales of the pins would go to MMIWG signage and awareness projects and it’s safe to say that we haven’t slowed down since that September in 2018.
This project truly is a family affair as our husbands and children have all picked up beadwork and contribute to this project by beading pins, packaging products, doing mail-outs and helping to host workshops.
Carla Maxmuwidzumga Voyageur
Carla is of Musgamagw Dzawada’enuxw and Nisga’a ancestry . Maxmuwidzumga is the traditional name that bestowed upon her, roughly translated to “leaves a part of herself wherever she goes – her essence” from the Kwakwala language. She was raised immersed in the richness of the Kwakwaka’wakw language, culture, values and traditions.
She lives on the traditional unceded territory of the K’omoks and Pentlatch tribes and is a Kwakwala instructor at the North Island College.
Aaabawasige Jeannine Lindsay
Jeannine comes from a diverse ancestry of Anishinaabe, Cree, Scottish and Irish bloodlines and is adopted Musgamagw Dzawada’enuxw and Wuikinuxv. She lives on the traditional unceded territory of the K’omoks First Nation and is an Indigenous Support Worker in the local school district.
Beading has been a passion for Jeannine, as she was taught by her grandmother at a young age and it’s been something that she has enjoyed and fostered throughout her life.
We are so grateful to have an amazing team of volunteers, who pour their love into the bead work that they create for this project!
I am Dallas Phillips, Métis of Cree and French Ancestry. I am a mother of three children. I work as an Indigenous Education Liaison Worker in School District #69 (Qualicum). Most of my life I have lived in the St’at’imc Nation—Lillooet, BC. I have lived on Vancouver Island for the past 4 years. I am very grateful to be living in this beautiful part of the earth and am very happy to be included in this important work to raise awareness to the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women on Vancouver Island.
Raini Aleck, Mother, daughter, sister, Aunty.
I’m passionate about this project and enjoy beading!
Every piece is filled with love
I live in the beautiful Comox Valley. A beautiful place to work live
and play on the unceded traditional territory of the Komox First
Nations! I has been on the Island for 3 years and love Island life! My
heritage is Cree Metis on my maternal side and Norwegian/Dutch
on the paternal side.
I spent a large part of mychildhood learning embroidery. Once I
was introduced to beading it was a very easy transition. I try and
bead as often as I can. I am very to be a part of the Red Dress
Project Team! I am proud to support the group and look forward to
watching awarness and change happen one bead at a time.❤