Local Women’s March Fails to Support Indigenous Women by Earth-Feather SovereignTweet
Wi’ my name is Earth-Feather Sovereign. I am a member of the Colville Confederated Tribes located in the State of Washington. I currently reside on occupied territory of the Medicine Creek Treaty Tribes. I use her/she pronouns. My Father is Ernest Clark. My Paternal-Grandparents are Cecilia Covington (San-Poil band “n.selixtcl’n” and Chester Clark (Nespelem band). My Paternal-Grandparents are descendant of Chief Jim James, Chief Nespelem, and the last Matriarch of the snpʕwílx People, Que-Petsa. My Mother is Deanna Marcellay. My Maternal-Grandparents are Morris Marcellay (northern Okanogan “n. sjilx”) and Hazel Williams (southern Okanogan “s. sjilx”). My maternal-Grandmother is a direct descendant of Chief Antoine. I am inspired by my Ancestors to continue to advocate for my people, all Indigenous People, and all inhabitants of our Motherearth.
This year, I was the main organizer along with Matriarchal Indigenous Sisters and Two-Spirit Society (M.I.S.T.S.) of Olympia Washington Indigenous People’s Day, where we honored our Indigenous Women. The Grandmothers that we honored were Janet McCloud and Maiselle Bridges. We honored and listen to fifteen Indigenous Women from all over; Pearl Means, Nancy Shippentower, Suzette Bridges, Yekaboltsa Mills, Connie McCloud, Elizabeth Satiacum, Rachel Heaton, Yvonne Swan, Deborah Abrahamson, Twela Abrahamson-Swan, Roxanne White, Sweetwater Nannauck, Roxy Murray, and Zarna Joshi.
Leading up to the Indigenous People’s Day Olympia~ Honoring Our Women event; we Organized a Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women’s jingle dress dance special, to help promote healing for our MMIW families. We also organized a concert in Seattle and Olympia for MMIW. We collaborated with Justice for Jackie, De-Esculate with the I-940 Petition, Native Hip-Hop Artist Nataanii Means, Salish Coastal Rap Artist Salish Sun, and Comedian and Poet Chad Charlie.
Uplifting our Indigenous People; Especially our Women and Children mean a lot to me.
Recently, I reached out to Olympia’s Women March, because I was concerned about their Indigenous representation. I was invited to the main organization meeting of Women’s March/ Rally. Nationally WomensMarch.org are not having Marches. They are leaving it up to other grassroots movements. The movement in Olympia that stepped forward is Oly Embrace.
I spoke to all the organizers about proper protocol, for non-Indigenous People. Proper protocol is honoring the local Indigenous People of who’s land you occupy by giving them a voice, respecting, and honoring them. Then to the State’s Tribes, Country’s Tribes, then all North and South American Indigenous People.
As for Indigenous People, we need to respect and honor whose territory we are guests on. As Pacific Northwest Tribes we are all related in some way or another. We need to continue to bring the message of Decolonizing and uniting our Indigenous People, because we are stewards and caretakers of our Mother-earth.
I also let them know how Indigenous Women are the most oppressed amongst all of our Nations. That when we uplift and support our Indigenous Women, all Nations will heal. I informed them about the epidemic of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women (MMIW)and Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women Washington (MMIWW) will be leading the march this year in Seattle. I told them we should lock arms with Seattle, and they agreed. Now, Oly Embrace is going back on their agreement. this is not okay. Oly Embrace stated in an email that they did not want to, “focus on any group in particular”.
The joint mission of Women’s March/ Rally and Oly Embrace March/Walk is to harness the political power of diverse women and to dismantle systems of oppression. Indigenous Women are the most oppressed! Women’s March is supposed to create a society for Native Women that is safe and a healthy environment free of structural impediments. It is their moral imperative to dismantle racial inequity.
Women’s March is supposed to implement an awareness campaign for Missing Indigenous and Black girls. MMIWW is this. Women’s March is supposed to help advocate and uplift us. In Olympia, WA they failed to do so. Head Women March/Rally Organizer would not advocate for us, she said they are separate, and Oly Embrace chooses to ignore us.
I have canceled the March in Olympia, Wa, because of the lack of support from Women +March on Olympia 2018 Rally and Oly Embrace Walk for Women.
We are continuing our Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women Washington March in Seattle, WA, where we are welcomed, respected, and honored to lead this year’s March by Women’s March 2.0 – 2018.
Please come and join us January 20th, 2018 in Seattle, WA to show your support and solidarity for our MMIW. Please wear red. All Nations Women are invited to stand behind us and to march for what they believe is important.
For more information contact myself or co-founder Roxanne White. You may also find us on facebook; https://www.facebook.com/events/313016535879493/. You may also find a local Women’s March in your area, honoring our Indigenous Women. When it comes to Racial Equity, Seattle gets it, and with this I raise my hands.
I also invite everyone to help bring the fire of our Missing Murdered Indigenous Women from Canada to Washington State’s Capital in Olympia. MMIWW is also organizing a Walk/Run from the Canadian border to Olympia, WA May 5th, the National Call out for MMIW Day to May 13th Mother’s Day. More information to come, LimLimpt.
Earth-Feather Sovereign, is a member of the Okanogan and Sanpoil bands of the Colville Confederated Tribes, in the State of Washington. Sovereign is an inspired poet and writer. Sovereign is on the board of directors of Help Assaulted Women and Kids (H.A.W.K.). Sovereign is a sexual assault and domestic violence advocate. Sovereign is striving to obtain her degree in Business Management and Tribal Governance and has received her certificate in Cultural Resource Management. Sovereign envisions of becoming a civil rights attorney, so she could continue to protect, advocate, and help Our Indigenous People in continued Sovereignty over their inherent rights and self-worth. Sovereign is a protector and a supporter of human rights and environmental rights with No Dakota Access Pipeline (NoDAPL), Idle No More, American Indian Movement (AIM), Colville’s for Justice, and is the founder of Indigenous Women’s Warrior Society. Sovereign enjoys being a mother, attending LDS church, participating in traditional ceremonies, cultural activities, attending powwows, and gatherings.