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Hundreds are expected to gather on Sunday, Feb. 20, for a Red Tipi Healing Ceremony in Chula Vista, Calif. in San Diego County for songs, dancing and blessings. The event is planned to honor missing and murdered Native Americans.

Sunday’s event will conclude four days a praying, running, marching to bring awareness to the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women/Relatives (MMIW/R) epidemic. The event begins at noon and will conclude at 3:00 p.m. - PST.

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Organizers have billed the event as “7 Peaks for 7 Sisters,” in recognition of seven families whose relatives have gone missing or have been murdered..

The event kicked on Thursday with a three-day run that visit seven peaks throughout occupied Kumeyaay ancestral homelands in San Diego County to represent seven Indigenous women who have gone missing in Indian Country.

(Photo/Courtesy of Norm Sands)

Each peak will be dedicated to each missing sister: Jessica Alva, (Pit River), Rose Downwind (Ojibwe), Khadija Britton (Pomo), Marlene Joletta Magee (Kumeyaay), Khiara Henry (Kumeyaay) Nicole Smith (Pomo) and Salina Not Afraid (Crow).

During the Red Tipi Healing Ceremony, members of other families will be able to come forward in a circle to tell their untold stories of missing and murdered in their families.

These stories must be heard.

This May, we are highlighting our coverage of Indian boarding schools and their generational impact on Native families and Native communities. Giving survivors of boarding schools and their descendants the opportunity to share their stories is an important step toward healing — not just because they are speaking, but because they are being heard. Their stories must be heard. Help our efforts to make sure Native stories and Native voices are heard in 2024. Please consider a recurring donation to help fund our ongoing coverage of Indian boarding schools. Donate to Native News Online today and support independent Indigenous-centered journalism. Thank you.

The Native News Health Desk is made possible by a generous grant from the National Institute for Health Care Management Foundation as well as sponsorship support from the American Dental Association. This grant funding and sponsorship support have no effect on editorial consideration in Native News Online.