Published April 20, 2019
MINNEAPOLIS — A team of Indigenous women is running in the 2019 Deadwood Mickelson Trail Marathon (http://www.deadwoodmickelsontrailmarathon.com/) on June 2 to honor and draw attention to MMIW (Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women).
“According to the National Crime Information Center, in 2016 alone, there were 5,712 reports of missing American Indian and Alaska Native women and girls,” said Mica Standing Soldier, Oglala Lakota, who is heading up the team.
Mica Standing Soldier
“Our team name is Running for our Lives – MMIW Marathon Team,” she said. “We Native women are literally running for our lives. The statistics are shocking—but the inaction is even more shocking.”
The team is partnering with several organizations dedicated to supporting awareness of MMIW and preventing violence against Native women, girls and two-spirit people:
- Minnesota Indian Women’s Resource Center (https://www.miwrc.org/)
• The Native Women’s Society of the Great Plains (https://www.nativewomenssociety.org/)
• Seventh Generation Fund for Indigenous Peoples (http://7genfund.org/)
“Our goal is to increase awareness of MMIW and to raise $10,000 for these organizations,” Standing Soldier said. People can make donations at https://fundly.com/running-forour-lives-mmiw-marathon-team.
Other organizations are helping the team by sponsoring marathon entry fees and providing supplies for the runners.
Standing Soldier ran and completed the Twin Cities Marathon on October 7, 2018. It was her first marathon.
As inspiration, she created her own MMIW shirt for the race with the names of 26 murdered or missing Indigenous women printed on the back—one for each mile.
“During the marathon, whenever I got discouraged or tired, I thought of those women,” Standing Soldier said. “Any pain or discomfort I had was nothing compared to the suffering that these women experienced and that their families, friends and communities continue to experience.”
The team encourages people to follow them on Instagram (@runningforourlivesmmiw) and Facebook (@mmiwmarathon), where they are posting information on MMIW from a variety of sources.