Educational Event Held About Missing & Murdered Indigenous Women, Domestic Violence

DULUTH, Minn. — An event was held Saturday evening at the Radisson Hotel to continue the conversation of missing and murdered Indigenous women, and to educate the public about the domestic violence that many of them face.

“There are quite a few people in our city that have gone missing or have been murdered, my cousin being one of them and my aunt was actually murdered so people don’t really realize the danger that women face in our city,” the organizer of the event, Airlea DeFoe, said.

She also opened up about her own struggle with abuse, in hopes of being an advocate for those who can’t.

“I’m actually a sex trafficking and domestic abuse survivor so it means a lot to me because all the women that that has happened to could have easily been me so it’s important for me to be the voice for women who don’t any longer have the ability to stick up for themselves,” DeFoe said.

One speaker at the event also brought the case of missing Duluth woman Sheila St. Clair back to the spotlight, as the now six-year fight to bring her home continues.

“I was asked to come here and speak about her tonight, she’s been missing since September of 2015, so any time I have an opportunity I have to bring her name back into the public eye and make people aware about who she was and that she’s still missing and if we can get any kind of help with any information people might have, then I take that opportunity,” Shawn Carr, Advocate from Idle No More said.

Safe Haven Shelter and Resource center was there to offer help or support to those who have survived abuse, and groups like Idle No More, a Facebook-based civil rights group, fight to make sure those who haven’t survived, or are still unaccounted for, aren’t forgotten.

“Each one of these missing people is somebody’s relative, somebody’s son or daughter, we need to bring justice to these people and for the ones that are still missing, we need to have some closure for the families,” Carr said.

Safe Haven is located in Duluth on West First Street and offers resources and support to domestic abuse survivors.

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