DULUTH, MN – A group gathered in Duluth on Sunday to spread awareness for the missing and murdered indigenous women and relatives throughout the state of Minnesota.
Their goal is to work to not only find those people, but put an end to the issue.
“We’ve been taught to shame — to feel shameful for some of these ailments, and, so, for us to admit that these are our relatives,” Sahnish Scouts Founder Lissa Yellow Bird-Chase said. “It’s OK to still love them. It’s OK to want to find them.”
Yellow Bird-Chase says issues such as homelessness, addiction, and lack of education play a factor in why her people go missing.
“All these things work hand in hand in why people go missing and murdered, so it’s going to be a long road, but we got to start somewhere,” Yellow Bird-Chase said.
On Sunday, the group gathered to pay tribute to those people with dance, song, conversation and prayer, all while keeping true to who they are.
“We need to understand and kind of go back to our traditional ways,” Yellow Bird-Chase said. “That’s why it was so important that we had this little ceremony here, and we tied the ribbons on the bones of the tipi because that’s what is going to bring us back is that traditional value system.”
The first step on the long road ahead.
“This tells me, by the numbers that have showed up here, that this is an issues and people are beginning to care, and they’re beginning to want to step forward and take some action,” Yellow Bird-Chase said.