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'It's Gone Unheard for Too Long': Walk Raises Awareness for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women

Erin Gottsacker/WXPR

A group of people dressed in red walk along the side of a four-lane highway.

They hold signs that read, “Justice for missing and murdered indigenous women.”

“No more stolen sisters.”

“What if she was your daughter?”

In honor of National Awareness Day for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, Nicole Tomlin of the Forest County Potawatomi Community organized a day of remembrance events.

“There’s an epidemic,” Tomlin said. “Native women are 10 times more likely than people from the general public to be murdered. We have a really serious issue. Eighty-two percent of us will experience violence in our lifetimes.”

Starting with the awareness walk, the day continued with a self-defense demonstration, a raffle and a virtual candlelight vigil.

Credit Erin Gottsacker/WXPR

All of this is to bring attention to an issue that’s very personal for some indigenous people, like attendee Ahshoni Daniels.

Daniels said it was important for her to participate in today’s events because she has experienced the grief of a murder firsthand, when her son was killed.

“We have no justice in our system,” she said. “We want justice for our murdered and missing women. It’s gone unheard for too long.”

Like the other walkers, Daniels is also wearing red.

She said her community believes spirits can only see that color, so wearing red is an attempt to help those spirits find their way home.

Erin Gottsacker worked at WXPR as a Morning Edition host and reporter from December 2020 to January 2023. During her time at the station, Erin reported on the issues that matter most in the Northwoods.
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