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This weekend and next week, Indian Country will observe Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women’s Day on Wednesday, May 5—with awareness-raising art exhibits, virtual vigils and more. 

In addition to the MMIW commemorations, you can also catch a great beadwork exhibit from the Great Basin and a thoroughly modern mail art show out of New Mexico.  

Explore Native News Online’s event guide for a summary of upcoming meaningful, must-attend events:  

The Earth is Weeping

reddressThe Earth is Weeping, an MMIW memorial and awareness event presented by the Red Ribbon Skirt Society, will begin at the Journey Museum & Learning Center in Rapid City, N.D., on Wednesday, May 5. (Journey Museum & Learning Center)

WHEN: Wednesday, May 5, -  Tuesday, June 1

WHERE: Journey Museum and Learning Center, Rapid City, S.D. Check out: www.journeymuseum.org/visit

At “The Earth is Weeping” public art show, red dresses hanging from cottonwood trees will serve as a haunting and moving memorial to Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Children and Two-Spirit people.

The dresses will surround the grounds of Rapid City’s Journey Museum and Learning Center, and visitors are encouraged to place sage, sweetgrass and more offerings to help honor and heal stolen sisters on a central altar. 

The soul-stirring scene will also feature shadowboxes expressing the MMIW epidemic placed atop teepee poles. 

“The Earth is Weeping” will begin with prayer, and is presented by the Journey Museum and the Red Ribbon Skirt Society in partnership with the Division of Indian Work in Minneapolis.  

Virtual MMIWG2S Vigil & Heartbeat of the Drums

Sarah Whalen lunnThe logo for Alaska community organization MMIWG2s, designed by Inuit artist Sarah Whalen-Lunn. MMIWG2s is part of a group of organizations presenting the Virtual MMIWG2S Vigil & Heartbeat of the Drums event on Wednesday, May 5. (Sarah Whalen-Lunn)

WHEN: Wednesday, May 5, 2 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. PDT

WHERE: Register here bit.ly, MMIWG2s Facebook 

The Alaska Missing and Murdered Indigenous Womxn, Girls and 2 Spirit Relatives group (MMIWG2S) is commemorating MMIW Day with drumming, safe spaces for discussion, jingle dresses and guest speakers. 

Speakers include MMIW advocates Jody Potts of Fairbanks and Lisa Ellanna of Nome. The event will also feature an honoring of the Grandmother Earth Dress, a jingle dress dedicated to MMIWG, a Canoe Dedication led by Elder Doug Modig and a drum performance from the Woosh.ji.een Dance Group.

The virtual event also includes a series of Zoom breakout sessions and talking circles that require registration and will not be broadcast on Facebook. Subjects include self-defense, initial steps to take when someone goes missing, survivor services, and healing and testimony. 

MMIWG2s is comprised of the Alaska Native Heritage Center, Alaska Native Women’s Resource Center, Data for Indigenous Justice, Native Movement, Native Peoples Action in partnership with the Alaska Native Justice Center, Southcentral Foundation, Alaska Native Tribal Health Consortium, Alaska Pacific University, and Northwest Portland Area Indian Health Board. 

#MMIW Gone Missing Event


WHEN: Saturday, May 1, 10 a.m. – 3 p.m. CDT

WHERE: River Trail Nature Center, 3120 Milwaukee Avenue, Northboork, IL

The American Indian Health Service of Chicago, American Indian Center of Chicago, Native American Chamber of Commerce of Illinois, Kateri Center and Forest Preserves of Cook County present an event that tells the story of Native Americans who have gone missing and some who have been murdered. Speakers will present the history of the epidemic proportion issue and the obstacles faced when trying to seek justice for families of the victims.

Shannon Martin (Gun Lake Tribe) will emcee the event. 

Medicine Wheel Ride San Diego: Riding For MMIW, Our Stolen Sisters

medwheelMedicine Wheel Ride San Diego: Riding For MMIW, Our Stolen Sisters, takes place Saturday, May 1 at 9 a.m., and begins at North County Indian Motorcycle in San Marcos, Calif.

WHEN: Saturday, May 1, 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. PDT

WHERE: North County Indian Motorcycle, San Marcos, Calif. Check out: www.northcountyindian.com. Tickets for riders are $20-$25. All proceeds go to MMIW outreach.

Riders and observers are encouraged to wear red and ribbon skirts to a motorcycle ride representing resilience and memorializing and honoring MMIW.  

The event will kick off with a bike blessing, coffee and donuts, before the riders set out on San Diego’s back country roads on their way to the ending point, Indian Motorcycle of San Diego at 9240 Clairemont Mesa Blvd.

At the conclusion of the ride, participants will be treated to music, food, raffles, guest speakers, Native Bird Singers and more.

The event is sponsored by Medicine Wheel Ride, a community group for female Native American motorcycle enthusiasts and allies.

Visit www.medicinewheelride.com for more information. 

Priority Sticker Show 

KingKarlThe Priority Sticker Show will take place Friday, April 30 at 3 p.m. at Rebel Prints in Albuquerque, N.M. (Karl "King Karl" Bautista)

WHEN: Friday, April 30, 3 p.m. – 7 p.m. PDT 

WHERE: Rebel Prints, Albuquerque, N.M., Rebel Prints Facebook 

Pop art goes postal at the Priority Sticker Show at Rebel Prints, owned by Laguna Pueblo artist and screen printer Karl “King Karl” Bautista. 

Thirteen artists, half of which are Indigenous from tribes including the Laguna Pueblo, Navajo Nation, Santo Domingo Pueblo and Yaki, will offer their takes on the urban trend of adorning  USPS Priority Mail stickers, envelopes and boxes with groovy graffiti-inspired designs.

The show will also feature a vendor market and a Slappy Wall for decorated stickers. 

Indigenous Beadwork of the Great Basin

StewartBeadingStewartBeading: The exhibit “Indigenous Beadwork of the Great Basin” is on display through Oct. 23, 2021 at the Stewart Indian School Cultural Center & Museum in Carson City, Nev. (Burton Pete)

WHEN: Now through Oct. 23

WHERE: The Stewart Indian School Cultural Center & Museum, Carson City, Nev. Check out: www.stewartindianschool.com. Call: 775-687-7608.

The Indigenous people of Nevada’s Great Basin happen to be brilliant beaders.  

Let your eyes dive into their intricate masterpieces, including a 75,000-bead painting of Nevada’s Pyramid Lake by Northern Paiute artist Burton Pete, at the Stewart Indian School Cultural Center & Museum in Carson City. 

Featuring pieces from Stewart Alumni and members of the Great Basin Native Artists Collective, the new exhibit “Indigenous Beadwork of the Great Basin” includes an array of items from goblets to cradleboards, and celebrates the artistic achievements of the Northern and Southern Paiute, Western Shoshone, and Washoe people. 

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About The Author
Tamara Ikenberg
Author: Tamara IkenbergEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Tamara Ikenberg is a contributing writer to Native News Online. She covers tribes throughout the southwest as well as Native arts, culture and entertainment. She can be reached at [email protected].