A local artist is creating an exhibit that aims to bring more attention to the issue of missing and murdered aboriginal women in Canada.

Jaime Black is collecting 500 red dresses, one for every missing or murdered aboriginal woman across Canada.

In Manitoba alone, there are more than 170 missing or murdered women.

"It's a garment women wear to look beautiful but it's also a representation of the racialization and sexualized violence against aboriginal women," said Black.

As a Métis woman, Black said she is interested in activism around women's issues.

Rather than set up the exhibit in an art gallery, she plans to place 100 of the dresses in trees throughout the downtown to bring the issue to the forefront.

"I think if you see that symbol over and over…the weight of the issue will resonate with people," said Black.

To reach her goal of 500 dresses, Black will be attending local events that also raise awareness about the issue.

Lisa Michell is a local activist. She said it's people like Black that are helping to make a difference.

"It's more people coming on board and drawing attention to violence against women. It's very simple. It's got to stop," said Michell.

Vigils were scheduled across Canada Oct. 4 to honour missing or murdered women.

In Manitoba, dozens of people took part in the vigil held at the Legislature from 7 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.

- with a report from CTV's Jillian Taylor