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MMIW Awareness | Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women

Michelle
September 13, 2020

MMIW: Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women

One picture, just one is all they asked. What is MMIW, you ask? Until I heard from Kate and her mom, Tara, I was unaware as well. Tara asked that we recreate this image for Kate so that together we can support her in her desire to bring awareness to these tragedies.

Threaten our Existence, Expect our Resistence – MMIWUSA
Indigenous women are ten times more likely to be killed than the average national murder rate. There are more than 5,700 cases of missing or murdered Native women documented with murder being the 3rd leading cause of death for Native American women. All I ask is, why? Why do some hunt indigenous women who are proud to represent their heritage? Why do some strip them of their freedom and innocence? I do not know them, yet they are my sisters. Moreover, my sisters do not deserve this. We do not deserve to be hunted for our history and our cultural values. We will never be silent again. No more stolen sisters.

Meet Kate

My name is Kate. My family and I come from a proud history of Native Americans as members of the Muskogee Creek Indians in Oklahoma, via The Removal. Oklahoma is ranked 10th in the nation for MMIW. It frustrates me to see what is happening to indigenous peoples who represent our culture. It hurts to know we are ignored and discriminated against while our sisters, mothers, daughters and aunts are hunted and discarded without care. We have decided to speak out. No more shall be hunted for wearing their honor proudly.

MMIW Arizona Photographe

Tara and Kate, thank you for bringing awareness to our community, sharing your story, and allowing me to be part of your journey.

 

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4 Comments

  1. WOW! I have heard of MMIW and it hurts my heart. Thank you for sharing your powerful images and words to bring attention to MMIW.

    Reply
    • It is a really powerful image and I’m so glad we did this together. I had done portraits of Kate when she was 14 and it’s wonderful to see her so passionate about her heritage. I learned so much from her!

      Reply
  2. I have never heard of MMIW and I am grateful for this awareness. What a beautiful, bold and brave statement, for both Tara and Kate. Your message and imagery is powerful.

    Reply
    • Yes Andrea, I did a lot of research before we took this image to learn about their mission. Thank you for the compliment. I really hope it does bring awareness for others like it did for me.

      Reply

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