WAPATO, Wash. — A Lower Valley event created to support the families of missing and murdered indigenous women will happen a week later than originally planned because of the extreme winter weather.
The MMIWG Healing Together Vigil, hosted by Roxanne White and Cissy Strong Reyes, will take place from noon to 6 p.m. Feb. 23 at The Campbell Farm, 2527 Campbell Road.
Like other vigils across Indian Country for missing and murdered indigenous women and girls, this gathering will provide a safe, supportive space for affected families.
Those who want memorial altars for their loved ones are asked to RSVP and come early, around 11:30 a.m., to set them up.
People with missing or murdered relatives can make posters and signs for this vigil and future events. One table will offer art supplies for those who would like to make a tribute to a loved one.
Participants can also speak about people they've lost.
Organizers recognize that this epidemic of violence has also taken children and men — the exact number of missing and murdered people on the Yakama reservation is unknown — and all families are welcome.
The event is free, but proceeds from an Indian taco sale beginning around 12:30 p.m. will help fund the reward that Rosenda Sophia Strong’s family plans to offer for information about her whereabouts or location.
Strong’s sister and cousin are hosting the event. Strong, 31, was last seen Oct. 2 by family when she left with a friend in an older Nissan car to go to Legends Casino in Toppenish.
She is a citizen of the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indian Reservation and a descendant of the Yakama Nation. Anyone with information is asked to call the Yakama Nation Police Department at 509-865-2933 regarding Case No. 18-010803.