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Red Dress Day event comes to Cowichan Friday

A Red Dress Day event is coming to the Cowichan Valley tomorrow. The day commemorates murdered and missing indigenous women, men, and children.

Cowichan Missing and Murdered Women, Men, and Children’s Monica Jones says this is not a new issue.

“It’s something that we’ve been dealing with for a lot of years,” says Jones. “Our sister went missing in 1977. It took the whole community to come together and everybody was searching everywhere. Months later we found her brutally beaten and murdered. Ever since they we decided that we needed answers.”

Jones says her family along with many others have no closure, with many cases remaining unsolved. She and her family continue to honour her sister since she was found 46 years ago.

This year part of that process of honour will be her organization’s participation in a walk of recognition and awareness in Duncan. The walk is in partnership with Tsow-Tun Le Lum Society and Cowichan Tribes.

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“We want to bring awareness to each and everyone to be cautious of your surroundings. It’s not just ladies missing, there’s men,” says Jones. “It’s all people, it’s not just Indigenous right now.”

They will start the day at the Si’em Lelum on River Road, with registration from 9 am to 11 am. Opening speeches and ceremonies open at noon, and a walk of support begins at 1 pm. It’s free to participate, but they will be selling t-shirts at the event with funds going to Jones’ non-profit.

The event is meant for awareness, and she reminds people that this is an issue to keep your eye on year round.

“They mark May 5th for the missing and murdered Indigenous girls, but everyday it’s that way for our families,” says Jones. “We’ll never give up and if anyone has any leads or clues, call the RCMP.”

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