Strawberry Day: Honouring the Lives of Missing, Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls and Two-Spirit People

As a bath and body brand - where intimacy and vulnerability ‘is the name of the game’, Valentine’s Day is a no-brainer. It’s easy to make cheeky playful innuendos, what’s difficult is to challenge norms and communicate genuinely and transparently. So today, we challenge commercial Valentine’s norms and turn our attention to Strawberry Day. 

While Valentine's Day fills the air with the sweet scent of roses and the warmth of heartfelt gestures, Strawberry Day serves as a solemn reminder of the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls and Two-Spirit individuals (MMIWG2S) crisis. As many of us sit with our loved ones and celebrate the love we have for each other - or even just for ourselves - it is exceedingly important to recognize there are far too many people going without their loved ones on this day.  Today, we honour them, their memory and their families while we help educate our audience of the urgency across North America.

A Dual Celebration with a Deeper Meaning

At Buck Naked, Valentine's Day is a time we love, it’s cheeky and playful. However, we recognize the need to pause and help share the importance of Strawberry Day. If today is the first time hearing this term, know you are not alone and this is a learning opportunity - and how exciting is that!? 

Strawberry Day, as alluded to, is a day that brings attention to the MMIWG2S crisis - an issue deeply rooted across North America and beyond - not just relevant to and within Indigenous communities. So here’s the Tea! In many Indigenous communities, strawberries are known as “heart berries” as not only do they closely resemble a heart when cut vertically, but they symbolize love, life and respect. Given this beautiful meaning that resonates so closely with the ideological spirit of Valentine’s, it compels us to remember those taken and to stand in solidarity with Indigenous families and communities who seek justice and healing. It’s our goal to engage our community, challenging new ways of thinking and understanding with the hope we collectively acquire a deeper respect for Indigenous traditions and the lives of those lost. At Buck Naked, we believe when you know better, it’s an obligation to do better. 

The History

We can’t share with you the significance of Strawberry Day without sharing some history of the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls, and Two-Spirit People (MMIWG2S) crisis. While I have a passion for bringing light and urgency to this cause, I am by far, no expert. There are many, profoundly more knowledgeable than I am, specifically many Indigenous women and or elders. I encourage you to seek out these people and organizations to learn more. This said, knowing where we’ve come from, helps us move forward. 

First, it’s important to acknowledge that MMIWG2S refers to the disproportionately high rates of disappearances, homicides, and violence faced by Indigenous women, girls, and Two-Spirit individuals. Secondly, it’s imperative to recognize the pivotal role systematic racism plays in the crisis. Indigenous communities have long been marginalized and disenfranchised across North America. This has resulted in economic hardship, social inequality, and limited access to resources and support systems, creating an environment where Indigenous women, girls, and Two-Spirit individuals become increasingly vulnerable to violence and exploitation, with their lives and safety often disregarded by authorities and society at large.

One such disregard for life has evolved into what is known as “The Highway of Tears”, a stretch of highway in British Columbia, Canada, that has become emblematic of this crisis. As a point of interest, this term harkens to “The Trail of Tears” a term coined for the route travelled by more than 600000 Indigenous people murdered and displaced during a 20 year period as they were forced west through the Indian Removal Act. Similarly, numerous Indigenous women and girls have gone missing or been murdered along this stretch of highway since the 1970s. Many of these cases remain unsolved with no intention by authorities to launch an investigation. Sadly, this disregard is not isolated just to this region, it reflects a larger pattern of violence against Indigenous people across North America.

Supporting the Cause

This February 14th, while we celebrate love, let's commit to remembering and honouring the lives of missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls and Two-Sprit people. Buck Naked is proud to support initiatives that aim to address this crisis.

This Valentine's Day, we encourage everyone to celebrate love in its most inclusive and compassionate form. This includes raising awareness about the issue, supporting affected families and communities, improving policies, and addressing the root causes of systemic racism and inequality that make Indigenous peoples disproportionately vulnerable to violence. We must work collectively to end this cycle of injustice and ensure Indigenous women, girls, and Two-Spirit individuals are afforded the dignity, respect, and safety they deserve. It’s also imperative to honour the missing and murdered by helping find justice for those whose cases are unsolved, so they and their families may come to some semblance of peace.

As a way of honouring and recognizing the gifts of Indigenous women, girls and Two-Sprit people. We encourage you to:

  • Seek out local Indigenous businesses and share them with family and friends
  • Read more about specific individuals who are missing or murdered and learn their story and remember their name
  • Find a local Red Dress project event to attend
  • Share your concerns with local, provincial and national government to petition for justice in local MMIWG2S cases
  • Share in the comments below the names, and links to additional information, of individuals who deserve justice


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