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An Online Resource Library on Gender-Based Violence.

Hundreds of Minnesotans march for missing and murdered Indigenous relatives

Wednesday, February 14, 2024

"As Ana Negrete read the names of Indigenous relatives missing and murdered in Minnesota, a deep silence fell over a room dressed in vibrant red at the East Phillips Community Center.

Due to gaps in data and reporting the list was not comprehensive, Negrete said Wednesday at a memorial and march meant to honor those lost. As she neared the end of the long list, audience members, overcome by emotion in the overflowing gym, began to shout out names of their own, the air filling with ceremonial smoke and loss.

'There's so many.' Negrete said. 'Today we remember you. Today we call out your name. today my hands have been removed from my mouth ... it is my responsibility to speak for those who cannot. I will not stay still and do nothing.'

Hundreds of families, organizers and supporters of efforts to end an epidemic of murdered and missing people in the Indigenous community gathered this Feb. 14, known as a day of remembrance for those lost.

Indigenous women, girls and two-spirited people disproportionately face violence in Minnesota. Though Indigenous people make up just 1% of the state's population, 9% of all murdered girls and women from 2010-2019 were American Indian, according to a 2019 report from the Minnesota Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women (MMIW) Task Force.

Senator Mary Kunesh, DFL-New Brighton, a Standing Rock Lakota descendant, sponsored legislation to address the violence faced by Indigenous community members. That led to the establishment of the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Relatives Office in 2021, the first of its kind in the U.S.

'We're meeting to address this historic pandemic of violence, of missing and murdered relatives across this nation and across any nation that was colonized by non-Indigenous people,' Kunesh said."

Read the full article here.