Breaking News
More () »

Hundreds come together in Minneapolis for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Relatives March

The event was put on by several organizations, including the Minnesota Indian Women's Sexual Assault Coalition and the Little Earth Residents Association.

MINNEAPOLIS — Hundreds of people marched through the streets in south Minneapolis Tuesday, all raising awareness for missing and murdered Indigenous girls, boys, LBGQI+, two-spirit and transgender people.

"We know that this is so much bigger than just our women and girls," said Rep. Heather Keeler (DFL-Moorhead).

 "We come together to honor and recognize our loved ones who have passed long before their time. I can feel the strength in the room, but I can also feel the heaviness," said former North Dakota State Rep. Ruth Buffalo.

As supporters shared their stories by taking to the streets, their message was loud and clear.

"As Indigenous people, we suffer through so much trauma and violence every day," said Maya Milk, a community speaker.

"For many years, this topic has gone kind of untouched," said Opie Day Bedeau, a member of the Bois Forte Band of Chippewa Tribe.

According to data, Native American women are two-and-a-half times more likely to experience violent crimes, while homicides continue to be the demographic's third leading cause of death.

"At the Legislature, we are working so hard," said Sen. Mary K. Kunesh (DFL-New Brighton). "Six years ago, I introduced the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women Task Force here in Minnesota. It was a new idea; it was a new concept but I wasn't going to let it go."

And while leaders and supporters say they're continuing their push for state-level action to address this ongoing crisis, they're remembering those whose lives were lost and those who are still missing.

"Just because we are not blood-related, we are still relatives and open with each other," said Milk. "Even though we come from different nations, clans, tribes ... what keeps us together is the unity."

Watch more local news:

Watch the latest local news from the Twin Cities in our YouTube playlist:

Before You Leave, Check This Out