Across the U.S. and Canada on Thursday, commemorations took place for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Woman and Girls.
Rachel Fernandez, a member of the Menominee Nation and Wisconsin Women’s Council, helped to organize an event in Madison, with a focus on families and survivors. “Where their stories are coming from, what is happening to them, the aftereffects. There are so many things that are interconnected here,” Fernandez explained. “Our loss, our invisibleness in media.”
Native women and girls face disproportionate rates of violence. In Wisconsin, Attorney General Josh Kaul has formed a task force to examine the issue.
Thursday’s event took place at the Wisconsin state Capitol – Fernandez said that location was intentional. “This is how systems work. We’re in the western colonized world, and we have to walk in these two worlds. So this is how we’re going to push more for our voices to be heard.”
Wisconsin Women’s Council hosts an event at the Capitol for National Day of Awareness for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls. pic.twitter.com/00HQfBdlrh
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Fernandez said there’s room for allies to help address the issue. “I ask all the non-Native allies, can you please stand with us, be with us. Don’t take our space but be with us. Uplift, share what we’re doing, donate to the organizations that are doing the work, and just stand with us, not in front of us.”