Red Dresses Raises Awareness of Missing Indigenous Women

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CINCINNATI — This Native American Heritage Month, a group is using red dresses to highlight a serious issue, violence against Native women.


What do you want to know

  • Red dresses hang in 25 Cincinnati-area libraries
  • The red dresses represent missing and murdered Indigenous women
  • The dresses will be on display throughout November, Native American Heritage Month

At first glance, it may seem random to see red robes hanging from trees, but the robes have been purposely placed to make you stop and stare.

That’s what Tabitha Moser did when she walked past the library near her apartment, and she found something else with it.

“When I passed I stopped and looked at the sign and I think it’s a really cool way to get people’s attention and awareness,” Moser said.

Each red dress has been placed here to represent an Aboriginal woman who has been murdered or reported missing.

They hang in or near 25 libraries across the Cincinnati area with signs explaining why the red dresses.

“The traditional belief is that red is the only color spirits can see,” said Jheri Neri, executive director of the Greater Cincinnati Native American Coalition.

Neri helped exhibit the dresses locally.

“I think there are a lot of native people who are personally affected by an aunt or a sister or several people who have been victims of this,” Neri said.

The idea of ​​defending the victims with red dresses came from a red dress art exhibition. Now the red dresses have been seen across the country, highlighting the issue.

“What is alarming is that there are more Native American women per capita going missing and murdered every day,” Neri said.

That’s why he says he hopes to give Indigenous women a voice through this exhibit while educating others who might not know what it means.

The Red Dress display will be in place at Cincinnati libraries throughout November in honor of Native American Heritage Month.

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