MINNEAPOLIS – Indigenous women will join the national Women’s March on Washington, D.C. January 21, 2017. Indigenous Women Rise: Women’s March on Washington is a partnership between Advance Native Political Leadership, Native Americans in Philanthropy, Native Voice Network, Native Voices Rising, National Indian Women’s Resource Center, UltraViolet, and Continental Network of Indigenous Women of the Americas, North American Region and other key groups working to advance Indigenous issues.
A statement on the Women’s March website says the event is about much more than women’s rights, and will “send a bold message to our new government on their first day in office, and to the world that women’s rights are human rights” after concerns around rhetoric targeting “immigrants of all statuses, Muslims and those of diverse religious faiths, people who identify as LGBTQIA, Native people, Black and Brown people, people with disabilities, survivors of sexual assault.” As Indigenous women, we stand together in solidarity with all of these groups for the protection of our collective rights, safety, health, and families. The march first began as a Facebook event with over 160,000 people indicating they will attend to date.
LaDonna Harris, an enrolled citizen of the Comanche Nation and founder and president of Americans for Indian Opportunity (aio.org), has been named honorary co-chair for the event. As a national leader, Harris has influenced the agendas of the civil rights, feminist, environmental and world peace movements. Her influence now reaches to the international community to promote peace as well. Currently, Harris serves on the board of Think New Mexico, the National Committee to Preserve Social Security and Medicare and the Smithsonian’s National Museum of the American Indian.
Recognizing that our vibrant and diverse communities are the original protectors and strength of our country, we call upon Indigenous women to join one of the many sister marches taking place around the country. Participation by Indigenous women will ensure that our voices on the issues that affect us all, are resoundingly heard.
Indigenous women who plan to participate or show support are asked to wear turquoise scarves or shawls for visual representation and identification. Native Americans in Philanthropy (nativephilanthropy.org) is gifting limited edition scarves by Native American designer Bethany Yellowtail (byellowtail.com) for the Washington march. According to her site, “In Crow culture and various tribes of the plains region, the Women’s warbonnet dance or “Shoshone Warbonnet Dance” (as depicted in the art) is a ceremony to honor the young leaders of our indigenous nations. This is the only time a woman is to wear the sacred warbonnet, the dance ceremony is the highest recognition of our mighty Apsaalooke women.” RSVP to join the Indigenous Women Rise circle and receive your Indigenous Women Rise scarf at the Indigenous Women Rise Meet-Up and Social located at the National Indian Gaming Association on Friday, January 20, 2017 from 2-4p.m.
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