The Native women of Alaska have been calling out to you. We’ve been asking for reformation in our laws, in our policies, in our system of justice.
And when asking didn’t work, we begged. We begged in letters, in person, in testimony.
And when begging didn’t work, we demanded. We demanded in marches, with our art, with voices raised in a chorus singing the same tragic song.
We kept asking, and begging, and demanding past the point we knew you weren’t listening.
We kept speaking so our sisters and daughters and granddaughters could hear us. So they knew they mattered to someone. So they knew their lives mattered to someone. So they knew they were precious, and deserving of safety, and deserving of justice.
Why doesn’t that matter to you? Why don’t WE matter to you? What else do we need to say? How else can we say it? What more can we possibly give up?
To the lawmakers – you have incredible power to create this change. Change it.
To the judges and prosecutors – you have incredible power to serve justice for victims. Serve it.
To law enforcement – you have incredible power to protect our women. Protect them.
And to those of you who have not spoken up – maybe you’re afraid, maybe you don’t know what to say, maybe you don’t feel it’s your place. You have the most power of all.
It’s your voice that will change the whole direction this dark tide is going.
Speak now with a letter. Speak now with a phone call. Speak now by sharing, or marching, or creating art, or adding your support to someone who is speaking for us all. Speak at the ballot box. Demand that every lawmaker make our safety a priority. Demand that they see us as humans deserving of justice.
In a single week, we let one Native woman know with a certainty that her safety and life weren’t deserving of justice. And we are burying one precious little Native girl who is gone decades before her time. Who knows how many other Native women were hurt in the same week?
My heart is breaking. It’s been breaking. I inherited this broken heart from generations of ancestors who keep hoping the next generation will be the one to see it healed.
The weight of this would crush anyone, but it is my Native mothers, and grandmothers, and sisters, and aunties, and cousins – we hold each other up. We hold the weight of the injustice for each other.
But we need your help. It’s crushing us. It’s killing us.
So I ask again – what more can we do? What else do we need to say? How else can we say it? Tell me. I’ll ask. I’ll beg. I’ll demand. Just tell me.