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News Release

Meskwaki Nation

Those wishing to honor the lives of missing and murdered Indigenous women and children are invited and encouraged to attend the National Day of Awareness for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women (MMIW) Rally on Sunday, May 5th, 2019 from 1:00 p.m.–3:00 p.m. 

Join supporters at the State of Iowa Capitol Complex on Sunday, May 5th to honor the MMIW movement and help to raise awareness about an alarming crisis happening throughout the United States and Canada. 

The National Crime Information Database reports there were 5,723 known incidents of missing and murdered Indigenous women in 2016 alone. For native females, between the ages of 10 and 24, the third leading cause of death is murder. With many incidents known to be unreported, the numbers are suspected to be much higher. 

To show support on the National Day of Awareness, Dara Jefferson, Victim Advocate with RISE (Resources for Indigenous Survivors and Empowerment), along with the Iowa Coalition Against Domestic Violence, asks supporters to stand together in solidarity against injustice by attending the state-wide rally. Organizers also ask that attendees wear red in support of the movement.

MMIW Rally 5.5.19

The MMIW event will feature Indigenous speakers including Marisa Miakonda Cummings (Omaha Tribe of Nebraska), Christine Nobiss (Plains Cree-Salteaux - Gordon First Nation), and Leah Slick-Driscoll (Meskwaki Nation). In full dress regalia, Morningstar Dance Troupe will perform traditional Native American songs and dances. The event will also feature a family spotlight for Rita J. Papakee (Meskwaki Nation), a mother of four and grandmother, who has been missing since January 16, 2015. The family spotlight will include speakers who are close family members of Papakee.

Oliviah Walker, family member of Papakee, states, “Our nations have noticed that our women not only suffer from some of the highest rates of domestic violence, interpersonal violence, sexual assault and sex trafficking, but they go missing and are murdered at alarmingly high rates. The MMIW movement started in Canada, but has spread all over because the issue is right here at home too.” She expanded, “We’re promoting the rally to raise awareness for what our family has been going through and for all the other families who have had to suffer through something like this.”

The National Day of Awareness for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women Rally will be held on, Sunday, May 5th at 1 PM on the West Capitol Terrace Stage, State of Iowa Complex, Des Moines, Iowa. The public is encouraged and welcome to attend. For information contact RISE at (641) 484-4444 or find them on Facebook at RISE-Iowa.

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