Sponsored By
An organization or individual has paid for the creation of this work but did not approve or review it.

ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Annual Missing and Murdered Indigenous People's March to 'cry out' Friday in Fargo

082019.N.FF.MMIW.1.JPG
Demonstrators rally outside the federal courthouse in downtown Fargo on Aug. 19, 2019, the two-year anniversary of the murder of 22-year-old Savanna LaFontaine-Greywind. Amanda Vivier, who helped search for LaFontaine-Greywind, spoke at the event. Forum file photo

FARGO — A ceremony and march to honor Indigenous people who have gone missing or been murdered will take place Friday, Feb. 14, in an effort to bring awareness to an issue that has affected thousands of Native Americans.

The annual event, the Missing and Murdered Indigenous People’s March, began in 2015 with the help of the group Sing Our Rivers Red. Now, the Fargo Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Human Trafficking Task Force, which was started after the tragic murder of Savanna LaFontaine-Greywind, is organizing the event.

The day will begin with a water ceremony, including a prayer for the Red River and a smudging, a sacred Indigenous ceremony involving the burning of plants such as sage and tobacco. The crowd will march through downtown Fargo shortly after, followed by lunch and programming at the Plains Art Museum.

Amanda Vivier, a member of the local task force, said everyone is invited to attend. She said the march is an important way to “continue to bring awareness, to cry out to the community.”

Similar marches are also planned in the Minnesota cities of Minneapolis, Bemidji and Duluth on Friday.

ADVERTISEMENT

The crisis of missing and murdered Indigenous people has claimed the lives of thousands in the 21st century alone. According to the Global Indigenous Council, about 6,000 Native women were murdered just in 2016. Still, the precise number of missing Indigenous people is unknown because of inadequate data collection.

For those wanting to attend the day’s events, the water ceremony will begin at 10 a.m. at the Veterans Memorial Bridge in Fargo. The march will start at 11 a.m. outside the Federal Building at 657 2nd Ave. N. Lunch will be served at the Plains Art Museum afterward, and programming, including talks from survivors and youth activities, will follow.

To find out more about the crisis of missing and murdered Indigenous people, read The Forum’s recent series:

Native American issues reporter and Report for America Corps member Natasha Rausch can be reached at nrausch@forumcomm.com.
What To Read Next
Artificial intelligence can now act as an artist or a writer. Does that mean AI is ready to play doctor? Many institutions, including Mayo Clinic, believe that AI is ready to become a useful tool.
Columnist Carol Bradley Bursack lists the various reason why some older adults may begin to shuffle as they age.
The Buffalo Bills safety who suffered a cardiac arrest on Monday Night Football in January is urging people to learn how to save lives the way his was saved.
Josh Sipes was watching an in-flight movie when he became aware the flight crew were asking for help assisting a woman who was experiencing a medical problem.