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Iowa Public Radio's Culture and Diversity reports go in-depth to examine what it is like to be a minority in Iowa. The reports look at the issues, history, cultural traditions, challenges and future of each diverse group of people that are part of Iowa. Correspondent Rob Dillard and other IPR reporters tell the stories by talking with the leaders and having intimate discussions with some members of each group, and taking listeners to the places that exemplify these communities.Iowa Public Radio's Culture and Diversity reporting is funded in part by The Principal Financial Group Foundation and The Dr. Richard Deming Foundation.

Meskwaki Tribe Members To Raise Awareness For Missing Woman

missing_women_protest_via_jen_castro_via_flickr_cc.jpg
Jen Castro via flickr creative commons
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https://www.flickr.com/photos/jencastro/16345941420/

For Native American advocates, this Saturday is a national day of awareness for missing and murdered Indigenous women. Members of the Meskwaki tribe are organizing a walk to remember an Iowa woman who disappeared in 2015.

Members of the Meskwaki tribe in Iowa's Tama County are organizing a march this weekend to remember Rita Papakee, who has been missing for more than three years.

Family members hope the event will encourage anyone with information to come forward. Tatum Kapayou said the loss of her sister made her aware of other cases across the country. 

“I didn’t think this was a big problem until it happened to our family, to my sister,” Kapayou said. “I could not believe how…how many women are missing."

She said she feels the disappearances aren’t getting the attention they deserve.

"And no one’s doing anything about it," Kapayou said.

2017 numbers from the National Crime Information Center show 10,642 Native Americans are listed as missing. But advocates say due to barriers between tribal and federal agencies, and resistance to reporting, the number could be much higher.