MARQUETTE, Mich. (WLUC) – A group at Northern Michigan University is raising awareness for missing and murdered Native women.
Red dresses have been installed throughout Whitman Woods to commemorate each woman who has been wrongfully taken from her family.
“Those murdered, sisters, mothers and parents, will be able to see this color and see that we are still here looking for them,” Center for Native American Studies director Amber Morseau said.
The red dress installation is part of the “Sing Our Sisters Home” series presented by the Center for Native American Studies.
Morseau said Indigenous people are the most likely in the United States and Canada to be victims of human trafficking.
“These cases go unreported and those that do are largely ignored or there is no evidence due to the nature of the crime,” Morseau said.
She said she thought law enforcement could work better with Indian Country agencies to get the girls home safely.
“I don’t want to have to walk the streets at night and fear for my life or constantly have my partner with me or a group of people to feel safe as an Indigenous woman,” she said.
Morseau encourages more people to come talk to the indigenous people in the community to learn more about their history.
“Show up for our lighter moments too. To be able to come out and celebrate with us so that you can build community with each other rather than focusing on the traumas that have happened to our people.
She says her goal of bringing awareness to missing and murdered Indigenous people is to never have to hang another red dress in the woods.
“I really hope that one day I don’t have to come here and do this anymore because these cases will be resolved,” Morseau said.
The dress installation will continue to hang in Whitman Woods until March 28.
Clothing donations are still accepted at NMU’s Center for American Studies at Whitman Commons.
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