Disclaimer: I received an entry to the National Day of Awareness MMIW Virtual Run as part of being a BibRave Pro. Learn more about becoming a BibRave Pro (ambassador), and check out BibRave.com to review, find and write race reviews!
When was the last time you heard a news story about an indigenous woman going missing or being murdered?
“WE’RE GOING MISSING,” reads red text in an image that the @native_women_running Instagram account reposted. There are black and white photos showing faces in the background. “… but you haven’t noticed because you didn’t see us in the first place,” reads the smaller text below.
The topic of not being seen came up when Verna Volker, founder of Native Women Running, was on The BibRave Podcast recently (listen to the episode here). Some people don’t realize that Native women are still here.
And they’re here on Delmarva, too. I was going through some stuff on my desk at work this week and picked up an issue of the Ward Museum journal, which included an article titled “10 Questions With Chief Donna Wolf Mother Abbott of the Nause-Waiwash Band of Indians.”
One of the questions she was asked was, “What is a common misconception about the indigenous peoples of the Eastern Shore?”
“That we’re not here,” she started her reply.
The article does not appear to be available online, but it was written by Dr. Dom Tartaglia.
The National Day of Awareness MMIW Virtual Run, which is being put on by Native Women Running, is set for May 5-8. You can choose any distance you like, or choose another type of movement.
Here’s the race information straight from the website:
The MMIW Virtual event is a race at your own pace and place. You can run, walk, bike, hike; basically, any movement, anywhere. The mission is to be in solidarity with Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls, and Two-Spirits, grieving families, and individuals working on the frontlines to end this epidemic of violence against Indigenous people.
One of the stats that was shared with us BibRave Pros who are on this campaign was that Native women face murder rates of more than 10 times the national average. This National Congress of American Indians report says in some areas, Native women are subject to this staggering rate. The 10-times statistic is featured on the Native Womens Wilderness website.
I wanted to choose a mileage number that had something to do with the cause, so I decided to pick 10 miles for the distance I will run for this event. I’m not completely sure which day I will choose because of my work schedule, but I will run sometime between May 5 and 8, likely the afternoon of May 8.
I also plan to listen to something relating to this topic while I run, so I can keep the reason for my run in mind. Last summer, I listened to an episode of This American Life titled “A Mess to be Reckoned With,” which featured Lissa Yellow Bird, who searches for missing Native people.
A book about Yellow Bird, titled “Yellow Bird: Oil, Murder, and a Woman’s Search for Justice in Indian Country,” is available on Audible, so once I get my new credit in a couple days, I plan to download this and listen to it during this event. Feel free to pass on any other suggestions for me, as well!
I would also like to learn more about the Native people who live in my area. I did write an article for DelmarvaNow.com about the Nanticoke Indian Powwow back in 2017.
So, are you interested in joining me — virtually? The registration fee is $35 and includes a shirt featuring the logo at the top of this post. If you register by April 20, you will get your shirt by the start of the virtual event. Proceeds benefit MMIW USA. Sign up here: http://bit.ly/MMIWVirtualRun.
I did receive a free entry to this event through BibRave, but I still wanted to support the cause, so I made a $25 donation to MMIW USA at checkout.
Learn more about Native Women Running here.
See what fellow BibRave Pros had to say!