ONEIDA, Wis. (WFRV) – The Oneida Nation held a march Wednesday morning for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women Awareness Day.
The walk began at the Civic Center and included a fire lighting ceremony to remember those who are lost. “We wanted to have this walk today because we wanted to raise awareness in our community that it happens here as well. It may not happen as often as other communities, but it is happening here,” says Renita Hernandez, Coordinator.
Attorney General Josh Kaul also recognized the day and called attention to the issue. “Today is a solemn day to remember those whose lives have been lost or who are missing due to abduction, homicide, or trafficking. But this is also a day when we can resolve to take action to help prevent future cases of missing and murdered Indigenous women,” says Kaul.
Last year Kaul launched a task force in partnership with the DOJ and indigenous communities to combat the trafficking of indigenous girls and women.
Organizers of the walk say the turnout is encouraging and they hope to make it an annual event to continue raising awareness and work toward stopping the problem.
“As I’ve been planning this event I’ve been learning more about community members that have gone missing or have been murdered that I didn’t really know about in the past. But as I’m doing this I’m learning it’s affecting us here in our communities, so we just wanted to bring awareness,” says Hernandez.
Organizers say the fire will remain lit for 24 hours in remembrance of victims.