Navajo woman walks from Ariz. to D.C. to spotlight her missing aunt, other victims

News October 13, 2022 News
Navajo woman walks from Ariz. to D.C. to spotlight her missing aunt, other victims

From The Washington Post by Diana Reese

Seraphine Warren stepped foot in Washington on Sunday evening, with the eagle feathers on her prayer staff waving in the breeze, as she completed her nearly 2,400-mile prayer walk from Sweetwater, Ariz., on the Navajo Nation. She undertook the journey in honor of her aunt Ella Mae Begay, a Dineh (Navajo) elder who disappeared 16 months ago, and to raise awareness of the alarming numbers of missing and murdered Indigenous people, especially women.

The missing and murdered Indigenous women movement (#MMIW) has gained traction in recent years as Native American activists have criticized tribal and federal law enforcement officials for failing to aggressively investigate cases and the courts for failing to prosecute. Conflicts over jurisdiction, lack of data and systemic racism have been cited for creating what some have called an invisible epidemic. Various reports have shown that Indigenous women face a higher risk of violence in their lifetimes, from sexual assault to murder.

Photo by Jahi Chikwendiu/The Washington Post

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