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Missing And Murdered Indigenous Women's March Brings Awareness To Wyoming Campus

Taryn Jim

This Friday, April 26, the Native student group Keepers of the Fire is sponsoring Wyoming's first march in support of missing and murdered Indigenous women on the University of Wyoming campus.

According to the National Institute of Justice, in 2016, four out of five Native American women experienced violence in their lifetime. And according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, murder is the third leading cause of death for Native American women in the U.S.

Northern Arapaho tribal member Taryn Jim is the event's main organizer and wants to see the state of Wyoming to take violence against Native women more seriously.

"My grandma was murdered when I was little." Jim said, "and my family never got no justice from it either. People in my classes ask me why I was working on this. And they were asking what the statistics and stuff were for the state of Wyoming, and I told them there are none. There should be allocated funds to keep current data for the state of Wyoming."

The Littlesun Drum group will perform and poets will read work on the subject. Also, activists from the Wind River Reservation will speak, along with Cheyenne Senator and Navajo tribal member Affie Ellis and Wyoming Governor Mark Gordon.

Northern Arapaho member Christie Wildcat is a student at the University of Wyoming and helped organize the event. Wildcat and wants to show Wyoming that Laramie supports its Indigenous women.

"When you bring people together to support an event you visually see the support. The relationship with this march is to show that Laramie, a small college town, a bigger Wyoming town, will stand in solidarity with the epidemic of missing and murdered Indigenous women."

The march starts at 10 a.m. at Simpson's Plaza on the University of Wyoming campus Friday, April 26. Those attending are encouraged to wear red in solidarity.

Taylar Dawn Stagner is a central Wyoming rural and tribal reporter for Wyoming Public Radio. She has degrees in American Studies, a discipline that interrogates the history and culture of America. She was a Native American Journalist Association Fellow in 2019, and won an Edward R. Murrow Award for her Modern West podcast episode about drag queens in rural spaces in 2021. Stagner is Arapaho and Shoshone.
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