Red River Métis government recognizes powerful student project highlighting MMIWG epidemic
September 18, 2023
Winnipeg, MB, in the National Homeland of the Red River Métis - Today, the Manitoba Métis Federation (MMF), the National Government of the Red River Métis and it’s proud affiliate, Infinity Women Secretariat (IWS), joined the Northwest Métis Council to recognize the outstanding efforts of Amelia Rempel, a Red River Métis Youth who is taking costume for theatre and screen design at the prestigious University of the Arts London Wimbledon in the United Kingdom.
For her first-year project, Amelia designed a dress imprinted with news articles about Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG), topped with a red scarf showing a list of some of the names of women and girls who have been lost to this ongoing epidemic of violence. The MMF, IWS and the Northwest Métis Council collaborated to purchase the dress from Amelia, presenting her with a cheque for $20,000 to help with her school fees.
“When the dress was brought to our attention, we knew it was a powerful symbol that needed to be shared,” said Frances Chartrand, Vice-President of the MMF’s Northwest Region, where Amelia lives when not at school. “The creativity and heart Amelia put into the making of this dress clearly show in the results, and I know our region is very proud of all her accomplishments, present and future.”
The dress will be displayed at local, regional and national gatherings to help raise awareness of MMIWG, and will become a part of the collection at the Red River Métis Heritage Centre, scheduled to open in 2026.
“When we see a young Red River Métis woman creating something powerful that elevates an important cause for all our women, it is imperative that we bring greater focus to it,” said Anita Campbell, Spokeswoman for IWS. “We regularly provide programming and education to our women about how to identify, prevent and address gender-based violence. Our goal is to end violence against women in our Nation, and all Nations. Until that day comes, we honour Amelia’s outstanding efforts to ensure no one forgets our lost sisters.”
Along with creating the dress, Amelia envisioned a persona – a woman who would wear the dress – who wanders the world observing instances of violence against women, with the dress becoming heavier and heavier after each instance.
“As a Red River Métis woman, I read the stories of these women who have gone missing or been taken and I connected with them. I connected with their stories, their dreams and their aspirations,” said Amelia. “And, I hope their stories will reach the people of the world. Their names should not and will not be forgotten. I would like to thank the Red River Métis Community, especially the Northwest Métis Council, Infinity Women Secretariat and President Chartrand for supporting my final project in this way, which helps me continue to pursue my dreams.”
Believe in Yourself; Believe in Métis.
The Manitoba Métis Federation (MMF) is the democratically elected National Government of the Red River Métis, also known as the Manitoba Métis. The Red River Métis are a distinct Indigenous Nation and People and Canada’s Negotiating Partners in Confederation and the Founders of the Province of Manitoba.
For more information, media may contact:
Media Relations Advisor
Manitoba Métis Federation