MMIW National Day of Awareness

DULUTH, Minn. — For the first time in two years, a group was able to march down to the water in honor of National Awareness Day for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, girls, and two Spirit

The ongoing issue of violence against indigenous women and girls in some cases are fatal, and in others, loved ones go missing.

Dozens of people gathered for a healing walk on national awareness day.

“We need to honor our women, we’re life givers, we’re water carriers and that the violence can’t go unnoticed, that we need to raise the awareness, that people need to speak up, and that something needs to be done,” Desiree Otterino, a Domestic Violence Housing First Coordinator for CASDA said.

Some families in attendance, who have missing or murdered relatives were there on Thursday, using this time to fight for the next generations.

“The foundation of the MMIW movement is families, and its families seeking justice and healing for their lost loved ones and to get support to find the missing,” Rene Ann Goodrich of Native Lives Matter Coalition, and the Twin Ports No More MMIWg2s Great Lakes Campaign, said.

Visibility is what is wanted and needed, when events like this occur.

This group wants society to recognize the dangers that indigenous women and girls can still face in communities, and to bring justice to those who have been affected.

“We do this as a community for visibility and whenever we hold an event like this we’re a family and we’re coming together as a community to raise awareness, to heal, to dance, to sing, to pray, all of our prayer and our healing happens together,” Otterino said.

“We make space for families and we create platforms for them to get that visibility that’s needed,” Goodrich added.

Staff from CASDA, the center against sexual and domestic abuse, were also there, standing in solidarity, showing that they are always there to help when women and children need a safe place to go.

“CASDA’s message is always that there is a place for you, that there is help for you, that if you’re in a situation where you are experiencing domestic violence, trafficking, sexual assault, any situation, especially for women of color where you feel you are at risk, that you can reach out, and that there is somebody there to take your hand and to help you through it,” Otterino, said.

The city of Duluth is also lighting Enger Tower red in recognition of the national awareness day.

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