Missing and Murdered Women




Organizers of the Vigil and Heartbeat of the Drums for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls shown here left to right: Ruth Miller, Dena’ina Athabascan, Communications Organizer, Native Movement; Rochelle Adams, Athabascan, Indigenous Engagement Coordinator, Native Peoples Action; Kendra Kloster, Tlingit, Executive Director, Native Peoples Action; Charlene Akpik Apok, Inupiaq, Gender Justice and Healing Coordinator, Native Movement; Kelsey Wallace, Yup’ik, Communications Director, Native Peoples Action; and (not pictured), Emily Edenshaw, Executive Director, Alaska Native Heritage Center. (Photo by Joaqlin Estus)


‘We face total negligence… when it comes to prosecuting attackers or murderers of our women’

As the names of more than 200 missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls were read, people listened in silence, many staring into space or at the carpeted floor of the Alaska Native Heritage Center in Anchorage. A few quietly wiped away tears. Healers burned braids of sweet grass and bunches of sage, waving the smoke onto the half-dozen men reading the names.

Charlene Akpik Apok, Inupiaq, director of gender justice and healing for the nonprofit community advocacy and training organization Native Movement, was emcee of the Vigil and Heartbeat of the Drums for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls. She told the audience of more than a hundred people she had asked men to read the names to remember and honor allies in the fight against the loss of Indigenous women.”