Last Real Indians

Indigenous Women Speak Out on MMIW

At this years second annual Women’s march, Indigenous Women took center stage and organized across the country to highlight and bring awareness to the issue of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women (MMIW).

Perhaps the largest gathering took place in Seattle, WA where thousands of Indigenous peoples turned out to not only lead the march, but also bring forth and uplift the families of MMIW.

Last Real Indians editor Matt Remle recently spoke with some participates about their experience.

When we look at the issue of missing and murdered Indigenous women we are seeing the continued genocide of our people and colonization of our land. The issue is one so egregious one can hardly look at the issue without feeling sick to their stomach. Women, our life givers, they hold the generations to come in their womb. Mother Earth is the ultimate life giver and she holds the generations of the past and the future in her womb.

We see that our women go missing and murdered at a rate higher than any other people group in North America and we feel the suffering in our bones. We see our Mother Earth being raped and dismembered for profit and we feel her agony in the depth of our soul. This attack against our land and women is an attack on our right to exist. We as Indigenous people have fought for over 500 years and we will not stop.

This year we joined and lead the Womxn March Seattle to declare that we are the first people of this land, we are the rightful caretakers, and we will not be eradicated from this land. We declare that not one more Woman should be harmed! So, we shared our words to collectively grieve. We marched through the streets and each step was a prayer. We sang to the skies as a balm for our soul. We cried out because we are resilient, we are the hope of our ancestors, and through their strength we will win this war.” ~Jennifer Fuentes

Jennifer and Ayanna Fuentes at Seattle’s march. Photo by Seattle Times

We are honored to receive Duwamish Nation’s Blessing for our Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women Washington March. We are honored to be able to be used as Creator’s tool to help bring awareness in Washington State. We are grateful for all the families who had the courage to come forward with their missing and murdered loved ones. We are grateful for all the people who came together to help support and uplift our Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women families.

Earth Feather Sovereign (right). Photo by Sings in the Timber

Not only in Seattle, also in Olympia and Spokane Washington. As well as in other States; California and Arizona. We hope the awareness continues. We hope a lot of connections have been made to promote healing and a resolution. We don’t leave it at the Women’s March.

We continue to go forward in Prayer to continue to support the families, to continue to bring awareness, to help bring together people who may help make a difference. I am grateful for the Community who have reached out to me, to help make a difference.

I am currently working on a Bill to help Washington State create a better data base for our Missing and Murdered Indigenous People. Washington State is also working on a Resolution to pass through Senate. The Resolution should say that this is an urgent matter and we need to act! I am hoping that our Tribal Council will also pass similar Resolutions.

We need to continue to unite for our families who are hurting, help bring our Indigenous People home, and help lay our Murdered People to rest.

Please come join Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women Washington while we walk from the Canadian border during the National Call Out for Missing and murdered Women and Children May 5th, 2018. We will end in Olympia, Washington at the Capitol building May 13th, 2018, during Mother’s Day.” ~Earth Feather Sovereign

Video of Seattle MMIW rally and march by Longhouse Media

More photos from Seattle’s MMIW rally and march

LRI’s Matt Remle with Chookenshaa AllenDick and Haliehana Stepetin at MMIW march. Photo by Alex Garland

Honoring families of MMIW. Photo by Sings in the Timber

Photo by Sings in the Timber

Sacred Water Canoe Family. Photo by Sings in the Timber

Photo by Sings in the Timber

Families being supported. Photo by Sings in the Timber

Photo by Sings in the Timber

Photo by Sings in the Timber

Photo by Sings in the Timber