On the 7th of September, Rising Hearts held the No More Stolen Sisters vigil at Faragut Square. The vigil protested the ongoing rapes, murders, and disappearances of Indigneous women near the “man camps” that house workers in North Dakota’s oil fracking industry, in the cities of Occupied Canada, and elsewhere. This event was hosted by the ongoing vigil against white supremacy at Farragut Square.
Two Indigenous women in particular were remembered at this vigil. One is Savanna Greywind, who was found murdered but her baby was found alive and has been called “a beautiful reminder of Savanna.” The other is Ashley Loring-Heavyrunner, who has missing since June from Montana. In Canada alone more than 1,200 Indigenous women are currently listed as mising.
Some background on the situation:
Until very recently, a non-Native US citizen who committed a crime on a reservation was not subject to tribal jurisdiction under US laws, and US law enforcement was generally hours away and often could not or would not respond. This making white rapists and other criminals a literal “hunting license” against Indigenous people, resulting in a wave of crimes against women. This has exposed Indigenous women to abuse in dating relationships, all-out rape, and even to being abducted and sold to pimps or just plain murdered. In short, the crimes that began with Christopher Columbus are still taking place.
Only since 2015, when new provisions in a reauthorization of the Violence Against Women act went into effect have tribal courts even been able to prosecute non-Indigenous rapists without entering into direct conflict with the occupying US government.
This announcement was posted for the vigil:
NO MORE STOLEN SISTERS. Tonight, we honor and will defend our women.
We are gathering in Farragut Square to pay our respects to Savanna Greywind, offer our prayers for her baby, her family, and her community. We also pray and hope for the return of Ashley Loring-Heavyrunner, who has been missing since June from Browning, MT. We are here to honor and remember our women, our sisters and our youth who have been stolen from us. We will be a voice for them, we will fight for justice, and we will find solutions to end the violence on our Indigenous women and girls. Lila Wopila tanka to all that joined us in prayer
A round dance was held near the end of the No More Stolen Sisters vigil