Indigenous Women Missing and Murdered Are Remembered

Family and supporters ask that women not be forgotten and encourage action.

Tuesday was a day of remembering and honoring for the Native American community. Specifically, it was a day focused on indigenous women who have been murdered or are missing.

The day began at the Robert Powless Cultural Center. A cross-section of groups and people gathered to talk about the issue, remember those who are gone, and to unite in going forward. Remembering was one of the goals, and red was the color of the day. It included dresses, skirts and memory shawls. It was a day to honor in solidarity those who have been victims of violence. Steven Woodworth’s sister has been missing for two years, and he hopes to find her. But he had supported the awareness effort long before she disappeared.

“You never expect to be, for it to hit so close to home,” he said. “Everybody, [thinks] you know, ‘That won’t happen to me.” And then it does happen to you. You don’t know what to think, you don’t know how to act. Because you’re thinking, ‘Where is she? Is she still alive?’ You know? I just want to keep her memory alive,” Woodworth said.

Woodworth said his sister was last seen in Carlos, near Alexandria, Minnesota.  He says police know who she was last seen with, but not much more–even two years later. For many people gathering Tuesday, it is a familiar story of a missing relative. They don’t want their family member forgotten when they are no longer in the headlines. Woodworth said there is also a sense that missing indigenous people don’t get the same notice as others.

“There are some people out there who look at like natives as being “nomadic” I guess. And they go missing and then people don’t really look for them. But they’re somebody’s sister, mother, daughter, aunt. She’s my sister,” Woodworth said.

When the afternoon session concluded, many who gathered went outside into the rain to continue honoring those who have suffered.  It was the 8th Annual Memorial March for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Relatives.


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