On Saturday, April 25th, Women AdvaNCe will co-sponsor an event that focuses on Missing & Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls and People (MMIWGP) through a Facebook live gathering. You will hear from families of victims, along with state-wide women’s organizations who are co-sponsoring.
Allies are welcome to join. This online event will go online from Facebook Live from 10am to 1pm EST. Speakers/performers will include family members of victims, experts, advocates, and Native American performers. Some had been scheduled at a MMIWGP March that had to be canceled due to the coronavirus. This is a call to action for activists, supporters and families to raise awareness, attention and bring justice to the many indigenous women and girls who have disappeared or have been murdered in NC.
This event spotlights missing and murdered indigenous women, girls (particularly in NC) but we are not excluding men/boys, or folks from other ethnicities. While we’re prioritizing indigenous women and girls, we will not exclude other victims who may have had the same fate or been in the same hands as these women and girls. What happens to these people who vanish? Where do they go? Who takes them? Why? It’s a question at this time we can only answer with theories.
A disturbing number of Indigenous women and girls disappear and/or are murdered each year. Due to the absence of consistent, standardized reporting on the issue, researchers have been prevented from gaining a true understanding of this epidemic. This rally highlights how poor data collection, lack of prosecution, and institutional/systemic racism have become ingrained and are contributing factors in the neglect of Native American Communities in NC.
According to one of the organizers, Crystal Cavalier, “We are walking with our ancestors behind us, and our Creator before us. When our native women rise and heal, we all rise and heal. Please prepare your signs, banners, and remember to wear RED shirts, hats, and/or regalia.”
Speakers/performers will include family members of victims, experts, advocates, and Native American performers. Confirmed speakers include:
Jane Jacobs, sister of Katina Locklear, who was raped and murdered in a patch of woods in Pembroke, NC in December of 2018. (Tuscarora).
Shelia Price, mother of Rhonda Jones, who was one of two victims found near each other in Lumberton on April 18th 2017. (Lumbee)
Native American Singer Pura Fe
Native American performer Tantoo Cardinal, an award-winning actress of Métis/First Nations descent. Her 50-year career spans more than 120 films, TV and theater roles, and she is one of the most widely recognized First Nations actors of her generation. She has portrayed complex and diverse characters and challenged negative stereotypes of Indigenous culture and communities.
Kevin Wesaquate, spoken word poet and visual artist, is currently employed as a Multi-Disciplinary Indigenous Arts Leader at SCYAP. Wesaquate is the founder of the Indigenous Poetry Society with hopes of building a larger community of spoken word artists. Wesaquate represented Saskatoon at the Canadian Individual Slam in Vancouver in April 2018, and once again in 2020. He performed at Tonight It’s Poetry for the Canadian Festival of Spoken Word in 2017 and 2018. He recently finished the Indigenous Fine Arts Residency in Banff Centre for the Arts, called ‘Ghost Days, Making Art for Spirit. 2019’.
Shining a light on all the causes of violence, murders, and disappearances is a daunting task. But it is a necessary one. We are exposing hard truths about the devastating impacts of colonization, racism and misogyny. Join us in learning more.
Event page –> https://www.facebook.com/events/455552131732954/
(The event will be streamed through Facebook Live on the event page. To access the live video, go to the event page. If we have technical issues and the video stops, continue to monitor the event page as that’s where video transmission will begin again when it’s back up).
Antionette Kerr, Co-Director, Women Advance
Ericka (Nicki) Faircloth, Co-Director, Women Advance