Native American women to lead Women’s March Reno

The 2018 Women's March in Reno, Nevada. Members of Great Basin Native American Tribes and other Indigenous nations will lead the 2019 Women’s March for the third year running.Photo by Judy Martin, courtesy The Reno-Sparks Indian Colony

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Sanctity of all woman revealed with Indigenous presence

Event Announcement

The Reno-Sparks Indian Colony

For the third consecutive year, members of Great Basin Native American Tribes and other Indigenous nations will lead the 2019 Women’s March Reno on Saturday at 11 a.m.

“It would be our honor to have you lead us in the March again,” wrote Mylan Hawkins, one of the organizers of the march in Reno, to all 27 Nevada Tribes. “The hand drums, songs, solidarity and Native people have created a greater awareness of the missing and murdered Indigenous women within Indian Country… and the awareness needs to grow.”

Last year, led by Native American women, 10,000 people turned out for the procession through the heart of downtown Reno and across the Truckee River. Moreover, a dozen jingle dancers---moms, daughters, grandmas, sisters and friends, literally and figuratively, started the Northern Nevada movement of this world-wide event.

With its origins in the Ojibwe culture, the jingle dance symbolizes healing. As the mission of the women’s march is to harness the political power of diverse women to create transformative social change, the choreographed tones of the jingles, which imitate the sound of rain helped purify the new day and build a strong, collective spirit to the march.

However, that was just the first wave of the Native American presence. The jingle dress dancers were complemented with hand drums symbolizing Mother Earth’s heartbeat, followed by at least 100 women wearing red ribbon skirts.

Started by an Indigenous community in Canada, the red ribbon skirts serve as a tangible commemoration of the Indigenous women who have gone missing or have been murdered. With skirt silhouettes stretching toward the ground where Mother Earth’s sacred medicines can be found, Native women moved powerfully over the magical Truckee River.

Again this year, Native Americans will wear carefully hand-made bold red attire, the color of love, and the color of passion, to serve as a prominent reminder that the on-going epidemic of missing and murdered women continues.

New this year, The Mankillers, an all-woman, Native American drum group will perform and participate in the rally.

“The world is beginning to understand that the strength and leadership of women are rooted in the ancestry we all carry,” said Michon R. Eben, a member of the Reno-Sparks Indian Colony and the director of the Tribe’s Historic Preservation Office and the Cultural Resource Program. “We rise, we stand and we march to remind the world that without your mothers, wives, aunties, sisters, daughters, grandmothers, great grandmothers, girlfriends and our earth mother, the world would cease to exist.”

Dr. Debra Harry, a member of the Pyramid Lake Paiute Tribe and a lecturer for the University of Nevada’s Gender, Race, and Identify Program, will be one of the featured speakers after the participants gather in the City of Reno Plaza.

According to the Reno march organizers, other speakers will include Verita Prothro Black, Ethan Clift, Vivian Leal, and Assemblywoman Sarah Peters.

For more information about the RSIC’s involvement with the Women’s March Reno, please contact Montooth at 775/842-2902 or by email at

The Reno-Sparks Indian Colony---one nation, from three tribes, strives for a strong community that promotes and encourages individual spiritual, physical and emotional health to foster a long, abundant and prosperous life, which will lead to personal, family and community responsibility and prosperity.

Saturday's schedule of events

9 a.m.

Pre-march Party at PLAN Office (203 S. Arlington Ave.)

Breakfast burritos, t-shirt sale ($20), smudging, final regalia prep

10-10:40 a.m.

Shuttle operates from PLAN to Commercial Row at Sierra Street.

10:30 a.m.

Line-up at the Reno Arch (jingle dress dancers, banners, hand drummers, red ribbon skirts, other Indigenous participants

10:40-10:55 a.m.

The Mankillers perform victory and gathering songs

11 a.m.

Begin march to Reno City Plaza


Opening Prayer by Elder Janice Gardipe

12:05 p.m.

The Mankillers perform honor song


Dr. Debry Harry and other speakers

1 p.m.

Conclude event with a round dance in Reno City Plaza

About The Reno-Sparks Indian Colony

The RSIC was established in 1917 with the Bureau of Indian Affairs purchase of 20 acres which became the core of Colony. In 1926, the addition of a contiguous parcel increased the land base to 28.8 acres. The first formal council of the RSIC was organized in 1934, and the election for the adoption of the Constitution was held on December 16, 1935. Located in Reno, Nev., the RSIC consists of over 1,150 members from three Great Basin Tribes - the Paiute, the Shoshone, and the Washoe and provides essential services to over 7,000 Natives. Today, the reservation lands consist of the original twenty-eight-acre Colony located in central west Reno and another 15,263 acres in Hungry Valley, which is nineteen miles north of the Colony and west of Spanish Springs, Nev., nestled in scenic Eagle Canyon. Learn more at


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