Skip to main content

New Red Dress Alert system to be developed in Manitoba


A new pilot program which will notify the public of missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls, two-spirit and gender-diverse people is set to be implemented in Manitoba.

It’s called the Red Dress Alert system and it‘s a partnership between Ottawa and the province.

Last year, Winnipeg Centre NDP MP Leah Gazan proposed a motion in the House of Commons declaring the deaths and disappearances of Indigenous women and girls a Canada-wide emergency. The motion called for immediate funding for a new alert system similar to an Amber Alert program, which is an emergency notification people receive via phone, television, and radio, when a child in their region has been abducted or believed to be in danger, and Silver Alerts which are used to locate vulnerable seniors.

The motion was unanimously backed.

In March, according to a release from the NDP, a study into the Red Dress Alert system began at the Status of Women Committee. It heard from family members, survivors and grassroots leaders to provide recommendations on the best ways to implement the alert.

Meantime, similar alert systems have already been implemented south of the border.

Washington State created the first-ever alert system for missing Indigenous people in the United States in 2022. Known as MIPA, it coexists with Amber Alerts and Silver Alerts.

California’s statewide Feather Alert Program also became law in 2022. It’s available to law enforcement investigating the suspicious or unexplainable disappearance of an Indigenous woman or Indigenous person. The alert provides immediate information to the public to aid in a swift recovery.

Statistics Canada concluded in a report last year that the homicide rate for Indigenous women and girls was six times higher than the rate for their non-Indigenous counterparts.

A national inquiry concluded five years ago that they are 12 times more likely to go missing or murdered.

With files from the Canadian Press Top Stories

Stay Connected