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.