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NATIVE NEWS: Tremendous Turnout for 4th Annual LDF MMIR Event

From Lac du Flambeau News

The 4th Annual LDF MMIWR (Missing Murdered Indigenous Women & Relatives) Community Gathering and Walk was held on Sunday, May 5, 2024 at the former bingo hall in Lac du Flambeau.

"I would like to thank all the families and everyone who came and showed support at our MMIWR event this year!" event organizer Alicia LaBarge said. "The turnout was amazing!"

This year’s gathering was attended by approximately 245 people and included the Newbold K-9 Search & Rescue Team. Attendees received a t-shirt and door prize tickets upon signing in at the door. The t-shirts had this year’s logo for the event on the front, and the logos of the departments and programs that helped sponsor this event on the back. The t-shirt was designed by Dorothy Grant. Mr. James Buckholtz offered up a prayer and blessing for the event, which was followed by an honor song that was sung by Medicine Rock.


Those in attendance also had the opportunity to decorate a red paper cut out of a shirt and/or dress. Cut outs and decorating supplies were made available by the LDF Domestic Abuse & Sexual Assault Program (DAP). The program collected all of the shirts and dresses that families decorated and will be making photo collages of them for either a permanent display within the community or use them at future presentations. DAP also provided buttons with pictures of MMIWR victims to the families that requested them.


Unfortunately, the Lac du Flambeau community has had its own cases of missing and murdered indigenous women & relatives throughout the years. As MMIWR has become a topic that is more talked about in recent times, LDF tribal member, Alicia LaBarge, felt it was time to start bringing light to those loved ones who have been lost to the epidemic. Alicia has coordinated this event since it started 4 years ago, with the hopes of bringing light to the subject, and educating the public on what MMIWR is and stands for.

"I also would like to thank everyone that helped out with the event with everything from donating raffle items, saying prayers for us, cleaning, cooking, setting up, take down, sponsors, handing out shirts, drumming, traffic control for safety and anything else I forgot," Alicia said. "It is very appreciated and took all of us to make this event happen! LDF Domestic Abuse & Sexual Assault Program, LDF BDC, Tribal Victims Services, GLITC, PCHC- Community Health Department, LdF Tribal Fish Hatchery, LdF's Women's sewing circle, Medicine Rock, Spirit Berry, Adaawe Place-Biskakone Greg Johnson, Brew Bear, RezMade-Dorothy Mae, James Buckholtz, Sarah's Jewelry-Sarah Koutas, Christine Doud, Joseph Wildcat Sr., Danelle Wildcat, Carl Martin, Desiree Wildcat, Booj LaBarge, Lyle Thomas Chapman, Charlene Theobald, Eli James Mayo, Brandi-lee BigJohn, Penny L. Chapman, Walter Linklater Jr., Deondre Isham, William Wildcat, Alex Brisk, Alyson Brisk, Nakai Larson, Esaube Brown, Byron Jessie Peterson, Scott Chapman, Sheldon Williams, Noah Peterson, Thomas Williams, Paul Poupart, Theresa Soulier, Pam Poupart Waterman, Ashlee Allen, Tina Peterson, Andrea Rodriguez, Paula Fralick, Stacy and William Stone. Sorry if I forgot anyone."


MMIWR is an epidemic not only here in the United States, but also in Canada. Below are some statistics from the US:

•       Murder is the 3rd leading cause of death among Native Americans aged 10-24.

•       4 out of 5 Native women will experience violence in their lifetime.

•       Native women are 10x more likely to be sexually assaulted or murdered

•       82% of Native men will experience violence in their lives.

•       Only 2% of cases of missing Native women made it to the U.S Department of Justice Missing Persons Database.

statistics obtained from Native Hope


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