Community members gathered on a chilly fall day to honor the lives of the many indigenous women who have been murdered or gone missing. On October 27, 2017, indigenous women from four local organizations (First Nations Community Healthsource, Planned Parenthood, Albuquerque Indian Health Board, and Coalition to Stop Violence Against Native Women) held a vigil in remembrance of those lost and to promote healing.
The event held at the New Mexico Veterans Memorial included prayers, a drumming circle, candles, poetry, and tribal songs. In addition, attendees were encouraged to bring a single earring to represent the Missing/Murdered Indigenous Women. There were guest speakers and audience volunteers that spoke about their experiences with violence. One of the speakers, a transgender woman, spoke of the heightened risk of violence faced by the indigenous LGBT community. Debra Haaland, former New Mexico Democratic Party chair and current Congressional candidate, spoke of the gaps between tribal and federal law enforcement which have played a role in exacerbating the issue of violence.
By Verenice Peregrino
Verenice is a 2L at UNM School of Law. She is the Vice President of the Mexican American Law Student Association (MALSA) and hopes to go into education law.