KSUT Tribal Radio | By Crystal Ashike

Early in the morning, on Saturday, May 4, 2024, an awareness walk was initiated at Elmore’s Corner along Colorado Highway 172 in La Plata County. The walk was organized by Daisy Bluestar to raise awareness for the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Relatives. Families, walkers, and Nahui Ollin runners participated in the walk while the birds sang.


Ute Mountain Ute tribal member Conrad Jacket carries the Southern Ute Indian Tribe’s flag and leads the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Relatives walkers and runners for 17 miles along Colorado Highway 172 on Saturday, May 4, in Ignacio, Colorado.

 


Southern Ute Indian Tribe Police Department escorts the Missing and Murder Indigenous Women and Relatives Awareness walkers and runners for 17 miles along Colorado Highway 172 in Ignacio, Colorado, on Saturday, May 4, 2024

 

Southern Ute Indian Tribe Council woman, Lorelei Cloud, followed by Conrad Jacket and local provider Nenette McWanaka and her friend Lois Deming walk along Colorado Highway 172 for the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Woman and Relatives Awareness walk on Saturday, May 4, 2024.

 

Mariah Bottomly, from Denver, Colorado, traveled to Ignacio for the MMWIR. Bottomly holds a rock cup in between her hands containing burning copal that smells of frankincense. She prays for anyone missing to return home as she walks along Colorado Highway 172, in Ignacio, Colorado, on Saturday, May 4, 2024.

 

Diana Lee wears beaded earrings that have the picture of her son, Dominic Sandoval. Unfortunately, Sandoval lost his life while he was working construction along Colorado Highway 172 due to someone allegedly driving under the influence. And now, Lee feels that justice was never served. To honor her son’s memory, Lee traveled all the way from Rio Rancho, New Mexico, to join the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Relatives Awareness walk along the same highway where her son was killed. Photo captured Saturday, May 4, 2024, in Ignacio, Colorado.

 

Southern Ute Indian Tribal member and Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Relatives Taskforce of Colorado member, Daisy Bluestar, walks behind everyone. Bluestar started the walk three years ago to bring awareness to the MMIWR crisis in the area. She was asked to wear ‘In Loving Memory’ shirt by the father of Natalie Hatch. Hatch was 21-years-old when she was shot and killed in Cortez, Colorado in 2013. Photo captured Saturday, May 4, 2024, in Ignacio, Colorado.

 

A group of Nahui Ollin runners traveled from Denver, Colorado to participate in the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Relatives Awareness walk. They sang and paid respect to the land as they covered mile after mile. On Saturday, May 4, 2024, they joined the community of walkers and finished the last leg of the walk together. The group then gathered in Ignacio, Colorado for food and rest.

 

The Southern Ute Indian Tribe provided the food, and the Southern Ute Indian Police Department prepared it over the grill for the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Relatives walkers and runners on Saturday, May 4, 2024.

 

The lonely highway reflects in the car mirror while passing a black Southern Ute Indian Tribe SUV carrying a banner: ‘YOU ARE NOT FORGOTTEN, INDIGENOUS SISTER.’ Photo capture, Saturday, May 4, 2024.

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