February 14, 2017, was more than just Valentine’s Day for MIWRC, our community, and others across the state of Minnesota. The third annual Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women’s March gathered hundreds to remember and mourn for the moms, daughters, grandmothers, sisters, aunties, and friends that have been lost. The purpose of this march was to raise awareness of a dangerous reality: Native women in Minnesota are dying as a result of domestic violence at alarming rates each year. In 2015, for example, Native women made up almost 25% of the total number of homicides related to domestic violence, even though they only make up 1% of Minnesota’s population.(reference) As disquieting as these numbers are—the real cost, the real pain these disparities are causing in peoples’ lives, was made clear at the march on Valentine’s Day. Dozens and dozens of handmade signs with photographs and names of loved ones send messages beyond the reach of data.
To all our relatives who are, “Lost but not forgotten,” on Valentine’s day and every day, we love and honor you.
For more information on this issue, see the following:
- 12015 Femicide Report
- Futures Without Violence Report
- MINN POST Article 2-14-17
- Duluth News Tribune Article 2-14-17
by Ashley Butner