Northern Michigan Tribes Raise Awareness of Missing & Murdered Indigenous Women

Native American tribes are raising awareness about missing and murdered people within their communities, especially women and girls.

The Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians held a gathering Thursday highlighting the issue.

Mmip Gathering Cold 6 050500 00 05 22still001Red shirts lined part of M-22 in Leelanau County in remembrance of Native Americans who have gone missing or were murdered.

The tribe also shared resources to help families looking to find missing loved ones.

Statistics show Native women are killed and go missing at 10 times the national average, but only 2 percent of those cases get federal attention.

And fewer than 5 percent get any kind of national media attention.

“It’s sad, and it hurts, and our community is mourning as a whole, so each one of us has known somebody who has been affected by this, have either been missing or murdered, so it’s that fire within us that burns, we’re yearning for that healing and something to change,” said Victoria Alfonseca, Communications Coordinator & Editor for the Grand Traverse Band of Ottawa and Chippewa Indians.

The Sault Tribe of Chippewa Indians are taking part in the Red Dress Campaign as well, displaying red dresses along Shunk Road and the entrance of Sault Area High School.

The color red represents blood, anger and love. The dresses have a powerful presence, as they are a reflection of power and strength of indigenous women.

The dresses will stay up through May.