Since 1992, memorial marches have taken place every year across the United States, Canada, and around the world on Valentine's Day in honor of missing and murdered Indigenous women. Native women, as well as the LGBT community and Two Spirit individuals face violence at disproportionately high rates compared to other categories of people. Four out of five native women will experience violence in their homes. In 2011, the U.S. Associate Attorney General shared data indicating that native women are murdered at a rate 10 times that of the national average. In Minnesota, solidarity marches will take place in Bemidji, Ponemah, Cass Lake, Minneapolis and Duluth among other locations to honor missing and murdered Indigenous women as well as people in the LGTB communities who have faced violence at alarming rates.
Simone Senogles and Audrianna Goodwin stopped by the KAXE studio to discuss the Bemidji event, roots of violence against Native women, obstacles Native people face when dealing with legal matters associated with these dire situations, and ways we can work as a society to thwart insidious violence in today's world. Click on the link to hear that conversation.
The Bemidji Walk to Honor Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women will begin at 11am at the Northwest Indian Community Development Center (right next to Slumberland). A program including jingle dress dancers, drumming and a light lunch will take place at the Beaux Arts Ballroom on the Bemidji State University campus beginning at approximately 11:30am. People are welcome to arrive at the Northwest Indian Community Development Center as early as 10am on the 14th to create signs and banners to carry as they march. Anyone with a loved one who has gone missing or has been murdered is invited to bring along a picture or meaningful item to carry along and display in honor of their friend or family member. Everyone is welcome to attend this march of solidarity to build awareness and inspire justice for individuals and families facing hard realities such as these.
People taking part in the march are encouraged to wear red. Anyone unable to walk with the group February 14th but wishes to express support for the cause is encouraged to hang a red dress in the window or in the yard to show their solidarity.