“On this day, and every day, we stand with our hearts open and in solidarity with the families, survivors and loved ones of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls.

“The red dresses people hang in windows on May 5 represent Indigenous women and girls who are missing or have been murdered.

“Hanging red dresses or wearing red shows our support to families and survivors who are in need of finding answers, of being treated with compassion and dignity, and of knowing there is hope.

“Sadly, during the pandemic there has been a sharp rise in violence toward Indigenous women.

“In May 2020, 17 per cent reported experiencing domestic violence over a three-month period compared to 10 per cent over a period of five years starting in 2014.

“It is our collective responsibility to turn the tide on this serious and long-standing reality.

“Alberta’s government continues to review and rely upon the 231 Calls for Justice in the Final Report of the National Inquiry for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls.

“A dedicated group of Indigenous women and members of the legislative assembly meet frequently to determine how best to take action on the Calls for Justice. This Alberta Joint Working Group on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls will release a set of recommendations later this year.

“Alberta needs to be a safer place for everyone, including Indigenous women.

“Alberta’s government continues to take action to prevent domestic violence before it occurs – as we have demonstrated by implementing Clare’s Law to ensure anyone in Alberta at risk of domestic violence can apply to police to find out if their intimate partner has a history of domestic violence or abuse.

“The Vital Statistics Amendment Act also provides protection by preventing convicted violent offenders from legally changing their names so they cannot hide that past from future intimate partners. These are two more important ways to put the law on the side of people at risk before domestic violence happens, or to save their lives. For many Indigenous women, this can be crucial.

“As a community, society and as a government, we can and will take action for a secure and caring Alberta where Indigenous women and girls are safe to live lives of hope and promise.

“On Red Dress Day, wear red or hang a red dress in your window to show your support for a just future.”