KESHENA, Wis. (NBC 26) -- For just a few hours, 150 people gathered wearing red shirts in an effort to fight for a cause.
But for survivors of violent acts like Rachel Fernandez, spreading awareness for Native victims goes beyond a single day.
"I could've been a statistic, easily," Fernandez said. "And I could've been forgotten also, easily."
As an activist for Native communities, Fernandez was present for a 5K run/walk on the Menominee Reservation, an event dedicated to Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women Awareness Day on May 5.
"We've been left out of the narrative since colonization," Fernandez said. "Since colonization we've been murdered, we've been stolen."
Dozens of people walked to spread that word, but Fernandez says Native populations need more.
The murder rates of Native American women are 10 times higher than the national average for all races, according to a U.S. Department of Justice study.
"You have families that are reporting their loved ones missing, and you have law enforcement officials that don't care," Fernandez, a Menominee Tribal Legislator, said.
And 5K organizers say the Menominee Nation has experienced similar situations.
"We have an individual who went missing earlier this summer," Menikanaehkem Community Organizer Maria Haskins said. "We have a male who went missing."
May 5 might recognize missing and murdered individuals for 24 hours, but event leaders say it's an everyday battle.
"This hits home for the Menominee people," Haskins said. "This is something that they're telling them [the public] 'you need to say something so that we can protect our people.'"
After years of activism, Fernandez says she hopes the world will help her along the way.
"I'm tired of driving down the road and not knowing what's going to happen to me," Fernandez said. "Or when my daughters are out there, my sons, what's going to happen to them?"
The money raised from the 5K will go to a women's leadership group for a nonprofit organization on the Menominee Reservation.
The State of Wisconsin has established a task force to examine missing and murdered Indigenous women. Some of the goals include examining the factors contributing to problems, understanding the roles that various levels of government play, and improving and implementing more detailed data collection and reporting methods.