Natives Join Women's March in Reno

Reno, Nevada was one of more than 600 municipalities to join the Women's March on Saturday, January 21 and Natives led the procession.

The Reno Women's March on Washington was one of more than 600 sister events that took place on Saturday, January 21, and about 40 Native women, children and men attended.

The Reno Police Department reported that more than 10,000 people marched in Reno. Two Native groups led the procession wearing traditional Great Basin attire and pow wow regalia, and an opening traditional prayer was provided by Paiute elder Janice Gardipe.

KOLO News 8 Now reported that marchers gathered in front of the federal courthouse and marched from there to City Plaza.

Paiute, Shoshone, and Washoe girls, mothers, grandmothers, and aunties carried the event banner, and Helen Fillmore, of the Washoe Tribes of Nevada and California was an event speaker, according to a press release from the Reno-Sparks Indian Colony. She explained how indigenous people, especially women, prefer to focus on hope, peace and solidarity, rather than hate.

“Love not hate, makes American great,” the Reno Gazette-Journal reported protesters chanted as the crowd began marching.

About 40 Native men, women and children participated in the Reno Women’s March.

About 40 Native men, women and children participated in the Reno Women’s March.

Mylan Hawkins, an organizer of the Women's March in Reno, said it’s about more than the election. “(The march) is about the future of this country, income equality, the place we will have in among the nations of the world, the health and well-being of all Americans regardless of age, the dignity and respect that we have for all our citizens—regardless of race, creed, color, faith, sexual orientation or disability—and those who come here to seek refuge on our shores,” Hawkins told the Reno Gazette-Journal. “It is about our environment, our children and the future of this fragile earth we all live on. The march is about a lot of big things that have been kicked down the road for too long.”

What the Reno organizer said, goes along with the overall guiding vision released by the organizers of the Women's March on Washington, which notes that they “believe that Women’s Rights are Human Rights and Human Rights are Women’s Rights. This is the basic and original tenet from which all our values stem.”

That document also named a number of revolutionary women leaders who paved the way for this Women's March, including Native and indigenous women leaders like LaDonna Harris, Winona LaDuke, Wilma Mankiller, and Berta Isabel Cáceres Flores. The document also discusses the importance of gender, racial and economic justice.

“We must create a society in which all women—including Black women, Native women, poor women, immigrant women, Muslim women, lesbian, queer and trans women—are free and able to care for and nurture their families, however they are formed, in safe and healthy environments free from structural impediments,” it says.