Navajo woman walks across the country to raise awareness about missing indigenous people

TULSA, Okla. — A Navajo woman hopes to raise awareness about missing and murdered indigenous people by walking across the country.

Seraphine Warren hopes her walk brings attention to hundreds of missing and murdered indigenous people all across the country. She became an advocate after her aunt, 63-year-old Ella Mae Begay, went missing.

Warren said, “Sometimes I feel like, will I be able to go another year without her, without finding her, without getting answers. I do have families that have been waiting 35 years. That’s the longest I know.”

She’s walking across the country. She started her journey in Sweatwater, Arizona and plans to walk all the way to Washington D.C. -- a distance of 2,330 miles.

She hopes to ask political leaders to do more to help find missing loved ones. “I feel helpless. I’m looking for the same answers they’re looking for. I want to vent to someone who will hear us and make us a priority, this issue a priority,” Warren said.

The prayer staff she carries is adorned with ribbons from families she’s met along the way who have missing loved ones. Written on the ribbons are names of the missing and messages of hope for bringing them home. Warren said, “It represents a corn stalk, and it also represents our four worlds. And these ribbons are tied to it because I’m carrying these guys’ messages and prayers.”

She says people have been good to her on the road --- she’s been taking it all in one step at a time. “It’s been an emotional roller coaster. There’s days where it’s a really good day. I get to see a lot of things that I don’t see back home,” Warren said. She hopes her walk inspires others to be heard.

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