Indigenous People’s March Photos In DC Show How Much The Movement Has Grown From Standing Rock

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On Friday, protesters gathered in Washington for the first-ever Indigenous People's March, a demonstration aimed at bringing awareness to the historical and modern-day injustices faced by indigenous people. They were supported by various progressive organizations, and photos from the Indigenous People's March in DC show how quickly the fight for indigenous rights is gaining steam.

The event was organized by the Indigenous People's Movement and supported by branches of Black Lives Matter, the March for Our Lives, the Sierra Club and other left-leaning groups. IPM media coordinator Darren Thompson tells Voice of America that the march aims to both empower indigenous people and increase public awareness of issues concerning indigenous people.

“Our main goal is to send a message that we are still here, we are organized, and we are growing,” Thompson, an Ojibwe and member of the Lac du Flambeau tribe in Wisconsin, tells Voice of America. “We are looking not only to empower each other but share important information with the American public about the legacy of colonization.”

Nathalie Farfan, an Ecuadorian Indigenous woman and organizer of the event, told Remezcla that the march is "a collective cry for help, because we're in a time of crisis that we have not seen in a very long time."

"When I say crisis, I mean collective crisis," Farfan said. "A lot of Indigenous people from around the world are suffering from the same colonization."

Here's what the march looked like, and what its attendees had to say about about the unique challenges that indigenous people face.

Stolen Land

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Protesters at the event display various signs, including one reading "white supremacy has no place on stolen indigenous lands."

The Women's March Joins The Fight

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The Women's March's Unity Principles include a section devoted to fighting for indigenous women's rights, and the national organization lent its support to the Indigenous People's March on Friday.

Change The Name

Many of the activists demanded that the Washington Redskins change their logo and name, as both have been widely condemned by indigenous and progressive groups as racist.

Missing & Murdered

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Many activists drew attention to the issue of missing and murdered indigenous women. Indigenous women and girls are murdered and reported missing at disproportionately high rates relative to other populations in America, and a 2018 study suggested that the vast majority of these crimes are not tracked or pursued by federal law enforcement.

Singing And Dancing, Part I

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An attendee plays a drum and sings while marching the streets.

Singing and Dancing, Part II

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Protesters sing and march while holding a sign that reads "MISSING & MURDERED INDIGENOUS WOMEN & GIRLS."

Solidarity

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One of the marchers holds a sign reading "Protect indigenous women, with the words "respect," "revere," "remember," and "resist" written around the border.

"Our Existence Is Resistance"

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Indigenous attorney Chase Iron Eyes tells the West Central Tribune that Friday's march was an outgrowth of the protests against the Dakota Access Pipeline near the Standing Rock reservation in 2016 and 2017.

"Women Are Sacred"

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As speakers address the crowd, a demonstrator holds a sign with the names of indigenous women who've been murdered or reported missing.

Indigenous Bikers

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Members of the Redrum Nomads, an indigenous motorcycle club, took the stage at Friday's march as well.

A Show Of Strength

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Although the protesters did draw attention to injustices, the event was also a show of unity and celebration of the growing political power of indigenous people in the United States and abroad.

"It's historic, and it's long overdue that we have these conversations nationally," Tara Houska, one of the march's organizers, tells the West Council Tribune. "We still don't see native people on television really anywhere except continuing to be in Western movies and as mascots. I'm very excited to see this step forward."

Morgan Brinlee contributed to this report.