The dozens of red dresses that line the outside of the courtyard and hang on the walls in the entrance in SFCC, and the small group of people filling the cracks in the courtyard with red sand, are all part of the The REDress Project and Red Sand Project.
The Red Sand Project is a national artwork project created by Molly Gochman that uses “sidewalk interventions and earthwork to create opportunities for people to question, connect and take action against vulnerabilities that can lead to human trafficking and exploitation.”
The REDress Project, which began in Canada, is an art project where each red dress represents a missing or murdered indigenous woman.
The red dresses display began Nov. 4 and will remain up for the rest of the month at SFCC. Other events earlier this month were more celebratory, including Pueblo dancers, the Native Arts & Craft Show and a screening of short films.
It is the third time in two years for the project at SFCC as part of part of the celebration of Native American Heritage Month, with Gondara leading the way. She is the associate dean of the Schools of Trades, Advanced Technologies and Sustainability and of Business, Professional Studies and Education at SFCC and she helps run the Indigenous Peoples Club.
The Urban Indian Health Institute in Seattle released a report last year that found 37 missing person and homicide cases for Native American women in Albuquerque alone. There were 78 total in New Mexico—the most of any other state in the country.
Nationally, the U.S. Department of Justice found that American Indian women face murder rates that are more than 10 times the national average.