Walking to honor missing and murdered Indigenous women
About two dozen people walked to bring attention to the high rates of violence against Alaska Native women.
The walk was to honor people's loved ones who were lost to violence by carrying their photo or wearing red and red dresses.
From 2012 to 2015, homicide was one of the top three leading causes of death for Alaska Natives between the ages of 15 and 24, according to the Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium.
"It's a critically important issue for Alaska because many Alaska native women are missing and killed every year," said Lisa Noland, with The Arc of Anchorage. "There's not enough attention placed on that fact and so we're out here to help Alaskans to consider that and to be aware of that and make differences."
October is domestic violence awareness month and violence against Native women has dominated headlines this month with an Anchorage man charged in the murder of two Alaska Native women.
"Crimes against Alaska Native women are disproportionately under investigated, under charged, under prosecuted and under sentenced and that's a travesty to our Alaska Native and American Indian women," said Natasha Gamache, a student at the University of Alaska Anchorage. "We need to be doing better."
Earlier this year, more than a dozen federal lawmakers, among them Alaska’s senior U.S. senator, announced that they are seeking federal help in examining the nation’s wave of kidnapped and murdered Indigenous women.
The bipartisan group is asking the Government Accountability Office, the government's top watchdog group, to conduct a study on “the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women (MMIW) crisis.”
According to an Urban Indian Health Institute report released late last year, more than 5,700 cases of missing and murdered indigenous women were reported in 2016. Of those, 116 got entered into a Justice Department database.
Copyright 2019 KTVA. All rights reserved.