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Day Of Remembrance For MMIW, Children And Two Spirit


  In Rapid city, Valentine’s Day is a time to remember Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Children and Two-Spirit-or LGBT-people. The community is invited to honor the victim's memories with events throughout the day. 


Indigenous women are murdered or go missing at high rates and South Dakota is no exception. Lily Mendoza is with the Red Ribbon Skirt Society, a group that draws attention to the issue. She hosted the day of remembrance for victims, including Indigenous children and two-spirit or LGBT people. 


“In our own homes and our own families there’s celebrations that we have. So I guess this is our way of celebrating and remembering their lives and their spirits.” 


People are invited to make Valentine’s gifts for victims, add a red handprint to a banner for the organization, and be part of a candlelight vigil.


“And there’s going to be a Paint 5th Street Red Gathering at the corner of Omaha and 5th street. And we are welcoming everybody to come, wear red, and have signs to put out.” 


Red is the color that symbolizes missing and murdered victims. The Red Ribbon Skirt Society is incorporating another color into their banners--blue. Carla Douglas is also with the organization. 


“Trafficking and Murdered and Missing go hand in hand because a lot of our murdered and missing have been found in trafficking rings. The color blue signifies the trafficking awareness. Those that are still out there that are being trafficked, we haven't forgotten about you either.” 


Douglas says people can be trafficked by strangers, family members, and people in the community. She says it’s important to acknowledge these victims and issues surrounding them. 


“Both of these events are near and dear to me because I don’t want to see families not have closure and I certainly don't want to see our victims still being victimized or new victims. So we need to share this awareness to warn people this is still happening. This hasn’t stopped and we want it to stop.” 


The Day of Remembrance activities take place at the Racing Magpie in Rapid City.