Riding for the Missing and Murdered

In order to create awareness to the systemic issue of race-based genocide, Riding for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women (MMIW), an activism group was formed to ride 12,000 miles across North America in the form of a Medicine Wheel for those who are lost and need healing.

The Ride for MMIW members wore the color red, the official color of the MMIW movement, along their journey to represent the violence Native women continue to face, but the strength that the community continues to show. It is believed by many tribes that red is the only color spirits can see. So in an effort to guide the missing and murdered home, red is worn.

Joan Jack, a rider for the MMIW tied ribbons to the back of her Harley Davison before setting off on the 12,000 mile journey. Two of the nine silk ribbons that flew from the back of her bike held the names of two of Jacks’s cousins as she hoped to show “we’re so much more than our victimization.” Like many Natives, Joan worries everyday about the potential of her daughters not returning home when they leave the house, so to her this ride is personal. 

TThe video above shows a community from all across North America coming together to bring home the women and girls who are missing. As the ride for the MMIW took place, riders would stop in locations such as Portland, Oregon before heading to Topeka, Kansas to connect with the community.

As the last stop on the 12,000 mile journey, Topeka, Kansas finished the medicine wheel, a sacred symbol in Native America culture. The completed wheel represents hope for the MMIW and their families.  

With the hope to show “I have been victimized, but I am not a victim” (Joan Jack, rider) and to draw attention to race-based genocide, the 12,000 mile ride was completed. While the ride itself did not bring home all of the MMIW, the activism of the riders started a community discussion on a systemic issue that often gets little attention. 


Dunne, C. (2019, June 7). ‘No more stolen sisters’: 12,000-mile ride to highlight missing indigenous women. Retrieved from https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2019/jun/07/indigenous-women-missing-murdered-activists-ride-north-america

Sandoval, S. C. (n.d.). The Medicine Wheel Run: Riding for #MMIW. Retrieved from https://www.csvanw.org/the-medicine-wheel-run-riding-for-mmiw/

The Ride for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women. [Riding for MMIW]. (2019). Photographs. [Facebook]. Retrieved from https://www.facebook.com/MMIWRIDE/