'Healer on a Harley'

100 motorcyclists embark on 12,000-mile journey to pay tribute to their ‘stolen sisters’

(Photo by Jan Hetfleisch/Getty Images)

More than 100 motorcyclists are joining the Ride for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women on Saturday, embarking on a 12,000-mile relay ride across the U.S. and Canada to raise awareness of gender violence against indigenous women.

The rampant killings and disappearances of indigenous women and girls in Canada constitute a “race-based genocide” that has claimed as many as 4,000 victims in the past three decades, The Guardian reports, citing new research. Indigenous women and girls in the U.S. face estimated murder rates up to 10 times higher than the national average.

The ride is “part memorial, part prayer, and part awareness-spreading,” Shelly Denny, who organized the journey, told The Guardian. A New Mexico-based acupuncturist and member of the Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe, she calls herself a “Healer on a Harley.” She grew up in a family of motorcycle fans and now runs an online community of Native women motorcyclists.

“Pretty much every Native person knows a girl or woman who’s gone murdered or missing,” she said. “I wanted to find a way to leverage what I do to draw attention to this crisis.”

Riders will carry bundles of sacred plants and flags that read, “No More Stolen Sisters.”

Read the full story at The Guardian.

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