Comanche Nation Remembers Missing and Murdered Indigenous People

Published: Sep. 29, 2022 at 11:03 PM CDT
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LAWTON, Okla. (KSWO) - The families of missing and murdered indigenous people remembered their lost loved ones at the Comanche National Museum and Cultural Center Thursday evening.

23 missing or murdered Comanche women were honored, along with other native people who have been lost.

The event focused on helping families heal.

For Oklahoma’s tribal communities, they have to go through that process too often.

“There are over 600 missing and murdered indigenous men, women, children and two spirit in the state of Oklahoma,” southwest Oklahoma Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women chapter president Gen Hadley said.

Their movement is tracking the cases of lost tribal members.

“We are very few, but we are being murdered at a higher rate than anybody else,” Kiowa Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women chapter founder Fawn Tsatoke said.

The group want’s to answer one question for each lost relative. What happened?

“You keep asking the question... what could we have done? Should I have called more? Should I have made her stay at the rehab? What could I have done?” the sister of Susan, a murdered indigenous woman, said.

People from Texas, Oklahoma, Kansas and other places are working together to find closure.

“Start investigating these cases, reopen them, because we have too many that are just sitting on the back shelves,” Hadley said.

But while looking for answers, many people find community.

Almost every person who gathered at the event knows somebody who has lost someone.

“I was able to listen to everybody else’s stories there and heal,” Susan’s sister said.

That’s why on Thursday evening, the Comanche nation walked to remember.

“You never get done healing but this is part of it. We come together, we speak, we say our loved one’s name and we walk and I know that she’s walking with me,” Susan’s sister said.

In November, missing and murdered indigenous people chapters will gather in Lawton for a convention.