In honor of the recent Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women (MMIW) billboard that went up on Garfield Avenue and Superior Street here in Duluth, MN the community showed support for the cause by hosting a Prayer Vigil at the sight of the billboard on Sunday, September 15th, 2019 at 3:00PM. The Vigil began at the Billboard with a prayer and was followed by a brief walk to the Duluth Folk School / Dovetail Cafe for concluding remarks.
Speakers included Duluth Mayor Emily Larson, City Councillor Renee Van Nett, and Human Rights Commission member Carl Crawford, and in attendance were representatives who have conducted research and collected data on missing persons in Duluth, grassroots groups dedicated to MMIW, and agencies that serve MMIW survivors. The vigil, co-sponsored by AICHO, was organized by a group collectively known as the “MMIW Vigil and Billboard Committee”, whose aim is also to highlight the importance of supporting a bill brought forth by Representative Mary Kunesh-Podein’s (Bill H.F. 70), to create a state task force to address this epidemic (the Minnesota House unanimously approved in May 2019, and it is currently in the Minnesota Senate awaiting approval). The Prayer Vigil was an opportunity to not only support MMIW, but all missing persons in our state.
Marcie Rendon and Vern Northrup sold copies of their latest books and shared excerpts from their writing in a family-friendly book release celebration.
MARCIE R RENDON, author of the recently released Girl Gone Missing, is an enrolled member of the White Earth Anishinabe Nation. Her first novel Murder on the Red River won the Pinckley Prize for Debut Crime Fiction. In honoring Marcie, the Pinckley judges noted, "Rendon's sense of place and her creation of an unforgettable character who forges her own way in a challenging world."
VERN NORTHRUP is a visual storyteller. Interpreter, educator, and learner are three words that describe the lens Northrup looks through when photographing the world. Akinomaage is the Ojibwe word for what Northrup seeks to do with his photography and is the title of the book he’s recently released. As an interpreter, educator, and learner, Northrup wants to gain knowledge from the earth. Using only the camera on his smartphone, Northrup captures the setting of where he grew up, creating a nostalgia for all those familiar with the area, and a curiosity for those who aren’t.