Sierra Native Alliance brings awareness to missing, murdered indigenous women

Madison Schultz /
Anno Nakai and Jessica Ornelaz stand beside the quilt created to bring awareness to missing, murdered indigenous women.
Provided / Sierra Native Alliance

The Sierra Native Alliance’s Youth Leadership group has created a memorial quilt to properly honor missing, murdered indigenous women in the Sierra Nevada region, as well as bring more awareness to MMIW Remembrance Day, that takes place each year on May 5. The quilt’s unveiling ceremony took place on Friday, Nov. 18, at the Truckee Recreation Center.

The Sierra Native Alliance is a nonprofit organization that provides services to support the health of Native youth and families in the Sierra Foothills region. The MMIW Quilt Project is one of the community education and advocacy projects the organization’s youth leaders have been engaged in this year.

“The national MMIW Remembrance Day has been set aside to bring awareness of the hundreds of indigenous women who are taken from their communities each year,” the press release stated.

The Quilt Project created by the Sierra Native Alliance brings awareness to the missing, murdered indigenous women.
Provided / Sierra Native Alliance

According to the Sierra Native Alliance, each square on the quilt honors the beauty and strength of the indigenous women and the quilt also represents inclusivity of the geographic and tribal diversity of women impacted by violence in Native communities.

In the center of the quilt, there are three figures that represent the statistic that more than one in three Native girls and women have been sexually assaulted.

“While the realities of the violence against Native women, which has been ongoing since the gold rush in California, is well known within tribal communities – this epidemic has been invisible within the mainstream media,” the press release stated.

In efforts to bring more exposure to MMIW, the Sierra Native Alliance is working diligently towards bringing more awareness to this under-represented community. According to the Violence Against Women Act that was signed in by the U.S. Federal Government in 1994, Native women face murder rates that are more than 10 times the national rate and homicide is the third leading cause of death among Native girls and women ages 10-24 years old. The Violence Against Women Act provides resources and legal protections for Native women.

“As 70% of perpetrators of violence against Native girls and women are from other populations, it is important that we all raise awareness of this epidemic of violence which is devastating the hearts of our nations,” the press release stated.

The Sierra Native Alliance Youth Program provides cultural activities, mentoring, wellness education, and leadership development for youth in the local community.

To learn more about the Sierra Native Alliance of the MMIW project, call 530-888-8767 or visit the website

Support Local Journalism


Support Local Journalism

Readers around Lake Tahoe, Truckee, and beyond make the Sierra Sun's work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.

Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.

Your donation will help us continue to cover COVID-19 and our other vital local news.