RED DRESSES on BARE TREES: Stories and Reflections on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls

Edited By: Micheal Hankard PhD & Elder Joyce Dillen


This book deals with Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, an extremely painful topic—one that we struggled at times to write or think about, and it raises some painful memories and feelings, not only for us but particularly those whose stories and reflections are within it.

The book includes essays and reflections by both men and women, because it seeks to help bring balance to our collective, equally important and unique, roles and responsibilities. It hopes to incorporate Indigenous knowledge principles about relationships and love in the hope that we can begin to emulate and live our lives in balance. In this circle, we begin in the eastern direction with respect—seeing someone from all sides, and having ‘1,000 cups of tea’ with them; moving into time in the south where we must physically, mentally and spiritually sit and spend time with someone; then to empathy or feeling in the west where our connection to a person is strong enough so we hurt when they are hurting; then finally, into the gift of movement, where caring behaviour in the northern direction drives us to actually do something about it.

  • ISBN:  978-1-926476-52-0
    Price: $33.00
    Binding: Paperback
    Date: 2021
    Rights: World
    Pages: 150
    Size: 6” x 9”

  • Table of Contents

    Table of Contents

    1. Colonization, ‘Truth,’ and ‘Reconciliation’ for Indigenous Women and Girls?
    By: Kelly M. Bugler, John G. Hansen, & Michael Hankard

    2. Taking Me Home: The Life of Mere Hiki
    By: Taima Moeke-Pickering

    3. Traveling the Spirit Road: Anna Mae Pictou Aquash
    By Cynthia Landrum

    4. How Are Indigenous Women’s Experiences of Policing and Homelessness Linked to MMIWG?
    By: Carol Kauppi & Rebecca Schiff

    5. Indigenous Responses to Gendered and Colonial Violence: A View from Baawaating
    By: Vivian Jiménez-Estrada &Eva Dabutch

    6. Walking the Sweetgrass Road Together
    By: Michael Hankard

    7. Rites of Passage: Building Strength and Resilience
    By: Joey-Lynn Wabie

    8. Colonial Exceptionalism and the MMIWG Genocide: Bringing Words of the Silent to the Ears of the Deaf
    By: Nawel Hamidi

    9. Shinning the Light Into Dark Places: Going Beyond Statistics and Literature Reviews and into the Humanity of MMIWG
    By: Sharon L. Acoose, & John E. Charlton

    About the Authors

    Table 1. Aboriginal Offender Statistics
    Graphic 1. Mere Hiki

  • Micheal Hankard PhD & Elder Joyce Dillen

    Michael Hankard, PhD (Abenaki) is an Associate Professor of Indigenous Studies at the University of Sudbury in Ontario. He is also an Associate Director and co-investigator on Indigenous homelessness through Laurentian University’s Centre for Research in Social Justice and Policy project on poverty, homelessness and migration. For the past 18 years, he has lived on the Serpent River First Nation in northeastern Ontario. He is the 1st Aboriginal graduate of Laurentian University’s Human Studies PhD program and created the University of Sudbury’s Indigenous Environmental Studies program minor. Mike has worked with First Nations Elders and communities in the U.S. and Canada for the past 27 years. His background includes Indigenous traditional knowledge, the environment, poverty & homelessness, and health and wellness. His books include: The Clean Place: Honouring Indigenous Spiritual Roots of Turtle Island (edited, 2019), We Still Live Here: First Nations, Alberta Oil Sands and Surviving Globalism (co-editor with John Charlton, 2016) and Access, Clocks, Blocks and Stocks: Resisting Health Canada’s Management of Traditional Medicine (2015).

    Joyce Dillen is an Elder of the Serpent River First Nation in northeastern Ontario. For the past 30 years she has been conducting cedar baths, training apprentices and holding workshops and seminars on wellness and traditional healing methods. She has served as a traditional resource person for many wellness programs over the years including the Naandwe Noojmowin program that is offered through Mamaweswen, the North Shore Tribal Council’s N’Mninoeyaa Aboriginal Health Access Centre, based on the Serpent River First Nation. She is a frequent invited guest speaker for Indigenous programs at Laurentian University and the University of Sudbury.

  • It is uncanny how all these writers’ contributions came together in one book. It gives such a comprehensive observation of historical and current systems that create these vulnerabilities. I have to admit, I felt anger rise up in me at all these injustices. This is an important work for anyone in Canada, and will be especially useful to policy makers. Well done! You have just changed the world.

    Lorraine Rekmans

    Member, Serpent River First Nation
    Former Indigenous Affairs Critic for the Green Party of Canada

    This book is a highly recommended read for persons desiring to hear truth, and to work toward genuine and responsive reconciliation with Indigenous Peoples.

    Barbara Waterfall, PhD

    Associate Professor
    Department of Social Work
    Algoma University