Indigenous community conversations during Native American Heritage Month

By Kaya Friday, Jada Martin, Lytrell Wauneka, Christian Oden, Kendra Wakolee


This November is Native American heritage month. During this month it’s important to bring awareness to current issues in the native communities. Missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls, and two-spirit is a major crisis in Native communities along with the missing children at residential schools

TINA TOURTILLOTT: However, it’s not just the women that go missing it’s also our two-spirited and our men are missing as well. It’s sad to say, but don’t be so trusting. If somebody offers you a ride let other people know where you’re going, who you’re going with, the area you’re going.

KIDD MURPHY: Saying that around 217 bodies have been found, children’s bodies, It makes me think of my family. When I see these children and these people being found, I think of my family, because it’s somebody’s family, it’s somebody’s child, that’s somebody sister, that’s somebody’s cousin, and it really makes you think in the perspective of “that was somebody” “that was a child”.

It’s important to bring awareness to these two issues during Native American Heritage Month because they are the most common and most difficult to overcome.

TINA TOURTILLOTT: Me and my sister‘s boarding school experiences were probably nothing like my parents who raised me. My mom is in her 80s, and I’ve tried to talk to her about her experience. However, I think it’s too painful for her where she doesn’t want to talk.

The statistics for MMIWG2S is 10x the national average.

KIDD MURPHY: I think to help prevent MMIW and to help move forward would be to just advocate it more and bring awareness and to just not per se shove it in people’s faces. You can’t really fight, you can’t really fight violence with violence.

Currently, about 7,300+ native children have been covered from residential schools in Canada and the US.

TINA TOURTILLOTT: I think more tribes should take initiative to try to get their members back home.

During Native American Heritage Month remember to bring awareness to current issues in Indigenous communities

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