Indigenous rights activists come out for the Women’s March in Phoenix

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At least 22,000 people came out to the Women’s March in Phoenix, Arizona, this past weekend.

The crowd included people wearing pink "pussy hats," of course. But it also included a group of indigenous rights activists dressed in red. They were there to honor the missing and murdered indigenous women in their communities.

“Indigenous women have a high rate of sexual violence and domestic violence in their communities,” says Shondiin Silversmith, a digital producer for Gannett. “So, indigenous communities are also affected by these issues even though they are not broadly talked about.’’

The march was a way of getting that conversation started.

“I think it showed that this issue isn’t something that can just be pushed aside,” says Silversmith. “It’s something that [the demonstrators] really want people to pay attention to.”

Silversmith says that she came to the march to observe and take photos — she left feeling moved.

“Seeing all these people from different tribes, and different nations, it personally made me feel very empowered,” she says. “As an indigenous woman, I don’t get to see that very often. ... And it was great. It was really great. I was happy to witness it.”

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