New License Plates Raise Awareness for Missing and Murdered Indigenous People

CARLTON, Minn.–Tribal leaders gathered at Black Bear Casino Tuesday to raise awareness for missing and murdered indigenous people in a unique way.

New vehicle license plates have been designed using the symbol of a red hand, a logo nationally recognized to honor native men, women and relatives who have gone missing or have died.

The Fond du Lac Band of Lake Superior Chippewa and the Boise Forte Band of Chippewa came together to launch two new plate designs.

Minnesota State Senator Mary Kunesh is part of the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women Task Force and her idea inspired the bands to implement the new license plates.

Minnesota State Senator, Mary Kunesh, said, “Kind of take that responsibility to learning more about this issue and finding ways to help make a difference whether to support communities and members that are victims of violence themselves. I hope it just builds that strong awareness and understanding”.

The goal of the plates is to educate the public about the high rates of missing persons cases among the native population.

Fond du Lac Band Chairman, Kevin Dupuis Sr., said, “The idea is to get everybody aware and look at it in a country lens and a world lens and say ‘Hey we have an issue’, let’s try to break this vicious cycle that’s been happening for we don’t know how long”.

Money from the purchased plates will go to the Missing and Murdered Indigenous State Office. The funding can then be used toward researching cold cases on behalf of those who have gone missing.

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