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Northeast Native American tribes walk for missing and murdered Indigenous people

The Northeast Women’s Healing Circle hopes to rally support Saturday at the Connecticut State Capitol to raise awareness for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women (MMIW). The healing circle is comprised of representatives from tribes in Connecticut, Rhode Island, Massachusetts and New York.

Junise Golden Feather, a member of the Seaconke Wampanoag Tribe, works with the group. She said it began organizing at the start of the pandemic as a way to discuss and close disparities in the Indigenous communities. They introduce healing prayers during tribal powwows and gatherings.

"We're just trying to raise awareness come together and have dialogue and basically look at what processes are in place in the tribal community and how we can assist the next generations," Golden Feather said.

Golden Feather said on Saturday they will promote the No More Stolen Sisters and Red Hand movement. She said 4 out of 5 native women will experience violence in their lifetime. The event will also be an opportunity for tribes to network and provide resources.

“When we look out into our communities, when we look at our daughters, our nieces, granddaughters and we know they’re going to be faced with adversity." Golden Feather said. "So it's important that we stand together and we highlight our resources. And we strengthen that next generation of women behind us.”

Golden Feather said anyone who wishes to support the movement can wear red at the event. The image of a red handprint has been used to identify the movement nationally.

“The red symbolizes connecting our spirits to the past stolen sisters. So we’re becoming their voice and that's what wearing red and the hand means,” Golden Feather said.

Golden Feather said representatives from the First Contact Tribes of the Northeast invite all federally and state-recognized tribes, and anyone in the Indigenous or local communities to walk with the group.

"We call in the community, we call in the tribal community and We call in everyone to stand as one and become that one voice," Golden Feather said.

Click here more informationabout Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women.

Jeniece Roman is WSHU's Report for America corps member who writes about Indigenous communities in Southern New England and Long Island, New York.