Roller derby’s Team Indigenous is keeping their heritage alive and bringing attention to missing Indigenous women everywhere.
“I’ve just been messaged by so many players, so many Indigenous players over the year through my derby career, and they all have always given me words of encouragement and a lot of support and just said things like, oh I wish that, you know, there were more Indigenous people that were visible,” said the team’s co-creator Melissa Waggoner. “And I just though we need a team for us.”
The team competed at the 2018 World Cup and were represented by Indigenous women from all over the world. The World Cup was the first time the team played together but the message was about more than just the women.
“More than anything, we really care about, you know, playing good roller derby, but that wasn’t the reason we came together,” said Waggoner. “It was about raising awareness for missing and murdered Indigenous women. It’s an epidemic in the Indigenous community. Some of us have family members that have gone missing, have been found murdered, and it’s something that really resonates for us.”
In addition to preparing for the next World Cup, Team Indigenous will continue to fight for Indigenous women everywhere.