Deaf indigenous women take part in #MMIW rallies

Several Deaf Native American and Indigenous women and allies took part in rallies in different cities to raise awareness and demand action on missing and murdered indigenous women. The movement’s hashtag is #MMIW.

Sarah Bear Young-Brown:

I’m here at a MMIW rally. MMIW stands for missing and murdered indigenous women. We are here and gathered to honor and remember our sisters who remain missing or are murdered.

ChanaupaWaste Win/Rachel Kills Small:

Hello, I’m in a MMIW rally. Look.

Native interpreter:

Women are sacred. Women are alive. Women are sacred. Women are alive.


The Daily Moth reached out to ChanaupaWaste Win, who was a part of a march in Colorado on Sunday. I asked her to share more information about MMIW.

ChanaupaWaste Win/Rachel Kills Small:

There is a very high rate of indigenous women who are missing and murdered. It’s underreported, such as this… there was 5,712 cases in 2016, but only 116 were reported in the Department of Justice database.

There was one incident in my family. My family lost my cousin named Jessie Waters. She was three months pregnant and issued a restraining order against her boyfriend. But something happened. She was killed. She was run over and died. And there was no justice for her. My family is still fighting for justice for her and her unborn baby. It’s really hit my family hard.

[Image of Jessie Waters, who passed away in 2015]

There was a bad situation with domestic violence. She was run over and left behind. There was no justice. Police only arrested him for setting her home trailer on fire. That’s it. No murder charges. My family kept on fighting for her justice, for Jessie and her baby, Jesse.

On a reservation, it can be hard with jurisdiction. It can be confusing. There are less police officers as well. In cities, it is very dangerous for indigenous women, for sure.

To deaf indigenous women all over, stay in touch with your family and friends. If you’re in a DV situation, run away. Protect yourself by being around people. And I hope you spread MMIW awareness to increase awareness in our world and… to have a better database to make it easier for police and law enforcement to reduce MMIW and give justice to missing and murdered indigenous people, just like I want justice for my cousin Jessie Waters and her baby.


Thank you for sharing. Clearly, it is a very personal issue to her and it is one of the reasons why many people are demanding changes in our criminal justice system.

On Tuesday, May 7, at least four U.S. Senators spoke on the Senate floor about MMIW.

[Clips of Sen. Tom Udall, Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto, Sen. Patty Murray, and Sen. Tina Smith’s remarks on the floor]

Their remarks were a part of speeches to push the Senate, led by Republicans, to take a vote on the reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act (VACA).