Native groups lead community search for missing indigenous women

RAPID CITY, S.D. — The weekend was all about raising awareness of missing and murdered indigenous women.

Several native groups led a community search on Saturday for missing woman Susan Fast Eagle and others. The Sahnish Scouts, Creek Patrol, and AIM Grassroots met to give volunteers an orientation on search team organizing, mapping and search protocols. Participants met at the Memorial Park Bandshell and were also asked to come with flyers they might have for missing relatives.

On Sunday, NDN Collective and Tribal Diabetes Prevention Program hosted the MMIW 5-k walk run. The event drew members from both tribes, with turnout more than expected, given the poor weather.

“It’s huge, and I think that also just shows the strength and the resilience that our community members have, and how greatly they feel that this issue is,” said NDN Collective racial equity organizer, Caitlyn Shoulder. “That weather such as this, where it’s supposed to rain majority of the day, didn’t deter them from coming and showing up, and being here, and being present for this moment. It’s a very emotion filled effort, and this cause is very emotion ridden, and so a lot of people really hold that deeply in their hearts and so when they show up, they really show up fully, and present, and here to support.”

Some participants used the time following the 5-k to continue the search for missing loved ones. Shoulder says there were some leads over the weekend, and looks forward to community searches in the future that will bring missing individuals home.

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