Indigenous Activists Lead Women’s March In Seattle

Saturday, January 20th, 2018

Tens of thousands packed Cal Anderson Park as thousands more packed the surrounding streets during the 2018 Women’s March. The march wound from Capitol Hill down Pine to Westlake Park before ending at Seattle Center.

The march was led by Indigenous people honoring missing and murdered Indigenous Women.

From the committee: “We would like to respectfully invite all families of M.M.I.W. victims to attend. We seek to bring awareness to the epidemic of missing and murdered Indigenous women and colonial gender based violence in the United States and Canada.”

What: Missing & Murdered Indigenous Women Washington March
When: January 20th 2018 9 AM
Where: Cal Anderson Park 1635 11th Ave, Seattle, WA 98122
Contact: Roxanne White

Key Details: The march starts at Cal Anderson Park & ends at The Seattle Center.

Indigenous people will meet at 9:00 AM at Cal Anderson Park, by the stage. We are aware that the march doesn’t start until 11:30 AM, but we want to have adequate time to honor the M.M.I.W. families that have confirmed attendance.

9:00 AM Opening Prayers—Blake Shelafoe & Cecile Ann Hansen~a descendant within the family of Chief Si ‘ahl («Chief Seattle») — has served as the elected chair of Duwamish people since 1975.

Opening Song—Melinda James (Quileute, Skokomish, Muckleshoot)

Speaker – Deborah Parker (Tulalip/Yaqui)

Honoring the Families of our M.M.I.W.—Jacqueline Salyers family, Renee Davis family, Jessica Santos family, Ashley Loring family, Giovanna Colfax Tyler Makah family, Leona LeClair Kinsey family & Misty Upham family.

Bring banners, signs, posters, drums, rattles, songs & prayers.

We will line up immediately after the ceremony on East Pine Street, then proceed down 4th Avenue toward Westlake, ending at Seattle Center and meeting at the John T. Williams Totem Pole

Please bring folding chairs for elders if you can.

If there are any additional MMIW families that are attending or would like to attend that we have not confirmed or listed please contact

Organizers statements

As an Indigenous woman & Grandmother I have survived much trauma. I have often prayed and asked creator how and why did I survive and so many of my sister’s did not. My path has taken me on many front-lines of grassroots movements to use my voice for Justice. It has been a honor & humbling experience to assist on coordinating & organizing the Indigenous led portion of this Seattle Women’s March 2018. Our only purpose is to honor the M.I.W.W. families & bring awareness to the world of this Epidemic in Our Nations across Turtle Island, Canada & North America. I believe in my spirit that I have been called speak out & stand for all those that don’t have a voice.~Roxanne White (Yakama)

Awareness of missing and murdered indigenous women is the people’s movement, based on grief and unjust work by authorities. We are taking our voice back. When a sister can’t, I will. When I can’t, a sister will. This isn’t just my voice, this is the voice of all Indigenous Women. When there is a need within the people, we step up and speak up. We must take any platform we can to bring awareness, we are not just statistics. Women are healers, life giving sacred beings; the violence against us must stop.~Ixtli White Hawk

Our Indigenous Women are spiritual beings. We have a close connection to the universe and all living beings. We are a door to the Spiritual realm. We are closely connected to the water and our Mother-earth. We are the original stewards and caretakers of this land. We teach our Children to carry on these traditions. Therefore, I think our women and children are being targeted by our government and Corporate entities. Our Indigenous Women are the most oppressed amongst all the Nations. Statistics show it; Indigenous Women have ten times the National average for sexual and domestic assault. Homicide is the 5th leading cause of death amongst Native American Women. 70% of these cases go un-prosecuted. The authorities; the police, children protective services, and the federal government don’t want to properly investigate our cases. Our cases go un-investigated, placed on the back burner, or go mislabeled. Our children continue to be taken from us and placed outside of our families. Some of the children become lost and unattached from their People. They conform to this colonial society, or they self-destruct; including, selling themselves in these man camps to survive, or committing suicide. There is a close connection to our Indigenous People and what the Corporations are doing to our environment. If our People lose our connection to the universe and our Mother-earth, we will all perish. We need to address our Indigenous People’s issues and help them heal. Our Indigenous People need to be the first thought, and not the last. When we help the most oppressed, our Indigenous Women heal, our whole Nation will heal, our Mother-earth will heal. When Our Indigenous Women Rise, we all Rise! Come help us uplift Our Indigenous Women and Children.” ~Earth Feather Sovereign (Colville)

Activists demand justice by holding memorial for Charleena Lyles at SPD picnic

Over two dozen activists and legal observers marched from North Seattle Community College to the Seattle Police Department North Precinct where a community picnic was being held. Once the activists arrived at the picnic, white activists locked arms, protectively surrounding people of color who set up a vigil space with signs, flowers, candles and images of Charleena Lyles. The activists who put on this action held space for over an hour at the event, saying the names of people in King County killed by police and through call and response, chanting their demands for justice.

From the event Facebook page…”Currently, there is a investigation of the Seattle Police Department in response to the killing of Charleena Lyles by officers Steven McNew and Jason Anderson. As of June 28th, 2017, four killings of people of color in King County have occured in 9 days. This is unacceptable. We demand an independent, community-based investigation into Charleena’s killing. We demand justice for these people.

#GiovannJoseph-McDade was 20 years old, graduated from Kent-Meridian High School, and was attending Green River College. He is the 3rd person to be murdered by King County police in the past month:
#CharleenaLyles was 30 years old, a mother of four and 3 months pregnant, murdered by Seattle Police
#TommyLe was 20 years old, murdered by King County deputy

#WilliamStokes was 51 years old, murdered March 23 2017
#PatrickReddeck was 38 years old, murdered October 16 2016

#abolishthepolice #disarmthepolice #stopkillingus #nojusticenopeace

The Seattle Police- North Precinct located at 10049 College Way N. will be hosting a community picnic on July 8th, 2017 from 1pm to 4pm. Below is the message on their flyer for this event.

” Picnics provide opportunities for precincts surrounding neighborhoods to come together and enjoy an afternoon of celebration with the officers that protect their families and businesess.

Community members enjoy an opportunity to learn about and interact with many of the Department’s units, including K-9, Mounted Patrol, bomb squad and SWAT.

Come join us for live music, hot dogs and ice cream, bouncy house and story time with your community police team.”

The purpose of this action:

We will not be celebrating for or with SPD.
We do not feel protected by SPD.
We do not feel heard by SPD.
We do not feel safe by SPD.

What the community wants is for police to stop killing us.

Our vision:

We will be holding a sit-in demonstration visibly nearby this picnic. We will give folks opportunities to share words. We will honor the names of the recent victims of police brutality. This space will be led by womxn of color particularly black womxn and be centering their experiences and feelings. Non-black folks will be in supporting roles throughout this action. White folks will be providing an outer layer protection role throughout this action.”