It's #MMIW Awareness Day.

You can find all kinds of horrifying statistics.
But I want to tell you about Indigenous women.

We are born from survivors. Our mothers and grandmothers survived boarding schools and empty cupboards.

We're funny as hell. We laugh hard.
We are tough. We can be quiet or loud but we are always resilient.

We are beautiful. In basketball shorts or those fleece pajama pants from Walmart or in the flyest Bethany Yellowtail dress or the fanciest ribbon skirt.

We wear beadwork like it's diamonds.
We can roast you and love you up in the same minute.

We deserve better than what this country gives us. We deserve better than how men often treat us.

We deserve bigger dreams and more support and easier times.
Every time I type the words missing and murdered indigenous women, I think of my five beautiful nieces. My baby grandniece.

My six aunties, who I love even when they're mean.

I think of the kwewag I've canoed with and beaded with and danced to Lauryn Hill in living rooms with.
I don't talk about it as much as I should, because it's hard to know how easily it could be for any of them to disappear.

It's hard to think of the ones we've lost.

And worse yet, how little will probably be done if one of them goes missing now.
Missing and murdered indigenous women.

In Minnesota, native women are just 1% of the population, but 8% of the population of missing women.

From 27 to 54 American Indian women
and girls in Minnesota were missing in any
given month from 2012 to 2020.
Most states have no data.

And we are more than numbers.

We are sisters, aunties, grammas, daughters. Our relationships matter, but we are also just people.

And we deserve the world.
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