Sunday march puts spotlight on missing and murdered Indigenous women

Indigenous people hold signs of their missing and murdered loved ones. Seattle has one of the highest rates of missing and murdered Indigenous women. (Photo by Jacquie Bird Day.)

People marched on Occidental Square Sunday to advocate for missing and murdered Indigenous women and for greater protections for Native communities.

The organizers of the march, Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women of Washington, said the march is also in support of missing Native men, children and Two-Spirit (LGBTQ+) people, as well as for environmental justice issues that affect Native communities and the safety of the people living in those communities.

Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women Washington reported that 10,642 Native people are missing throughout the country. Of that, 8,179 were children and 5,712 were women and girls.

Last year, the Urban Indian Health Institute reported that Seattle has the highest rate of open unsolved cases of Native women who have gone missing. Washington state has the second highest rate. The report stated that nationally Native American women experience sexual assault and domestic violence at ten times the national average.

The march started at Occidental Square and ended at Seattle City Hall. Marchers were asked to wear red in solidarity with the missing and murdered Indigenous women, or to wear purple in solidarity with victims of domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking.

Howie Echo-Hawk wears a hat saying “Make America Native Again” at a healing walk in support of Missing and Murdered Indigenous People. (Photo by Jacquie Bird Day.)
A walk in remembrance of missing and murdered relatives located on the traditional territory of the Duwamish people, also known as Seattle.  (Photo by Jacquie Bird Day.)
Young Indigenous women perform a sacred dance in front of Seattle’s City Hall during the march for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women. (Photo by Jacquie Bird Day.)
A woman carries sage and a feather at the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women walk, supported by a man carrying a sacred instrument. (Photo by Jacquie Bird Day.)