Global Politics

Indigenous rights activists come out for the Women’s March in Phoenix

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Hundreds of indigenous men and women marched in Phoenix, Arizona, on Sunday in honor of missing and murdered indigenous women.

Hundreds of indigenous men and women marched in Phoenix, Arizona, on Sunday, in honor of missing and murdered indigenous women.

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Shondiin Silversmith

At least 22,000 people came out to the Women’s March in Phoenix, Arizona, this past weekend.

The crowd included people wearing pink "pussy hats," of course. But it also included a group of indigenous rights activists dressed in red. They were there to honor the missing and murdered indigenous women in their communities.

“Indigenous women have a high rate of sexual violence and domestic violence in their communities,” says Shondiin Silversmith, a digital producer for Gannett. “So, indigenous communities are also affected by these issues even though they are not broadly talked about.’’

The march was a way of getting that conversation started.

“I think it showed that this issue isn’t something that can just be pushed aside,” says Silversmith. “It’s something that [the demonstrators] really want people to pay attention to.”

Silversmith says that she came to the march to observe and take photos — she left feeling moved. 

“Seeing all these people from different tribes, and different nations, it personally made me feel very empowered,” she says. “As an indigenous woman, I don’t get to see that very often. ... And it was great. It was really great. I was happy to witness it.”

Hear more from Shondiin Silversmith about the Women’s March in Phoenix by clicking on the audio above.

 

In PoliticsGlobal PoliticsElection 2016Across Women's Lives.

Tagged: PhoenixNorth AmericaUnited StatesArizona.