Powwow plans focus on missing, murdered Native women

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A two-day powwow that represents one of the largest annual gatherings of indigenous people in the United States begins Friday in New Mexico, where organizers say they want to build awareness this year around the deaths and disappearances of Native American women.

Melonie Mathews, whose family founded the Gathering of Nations Powwow in Albuquerque, says organizers are dedicating the Miss Indian World Pageant to the issue of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women — which has become the focus in the past year of state and federal legislation, and marches and demonstrations.

The pageant is a marquis event tied to the powwow, which has grown over the past three decades to include a parade, contemporary music venue and market.

Some 3,000 singers and dancers, and 800 artisans are expected to participate.

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