ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Marchers in Duluth remember missing, murdered Native American women

Valentine's Day marks an annual celebration of love -- but for some women, relationships are the source of deadly violence. A group of women standing at Superior Street and Lake Avenue in Duluth on Tuesday afternoon represented the number of wome...

3157725+0BzbsdLE9dS1zZGlYd004cVBlbUU.jpg
Miranda Pacheco leads about 100 people taking part in Tuesday’s Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women’s March in downtown Duluth. Steve Kuchera / skuchera@duluthnews.com
We are part of The Trust Project.

Valentine's Day marks an annual celebration of love - but for some women, relationships are the source of deadly violence. A group of women standing at Superior Street and Lake Avenue in Duluth on Tuesday afternoon represented the number of women, children and bystanders killed in domestic violence in Minnesota last year. Eighteen women were killed by a current or former husband, boyfriend or partner, leaving 14 children motherless in Minnesota last year, said Babette Sandman of Duluth, quoting the Minnesota Coalition for Battered Women's 2016 Femicide Report. The number of women killed in domestic violence fluctuates year to year in Minnesota - the MCBW reported that 34 women were killed in 2015. Additionally, three children were killed by their father as he attempted to kill their mother and three bystanders were killed in domestic violence incidents. "If they're hitting you, they don't like you. It's that simple," Sandman said during the second annual Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women's March on Tuesday. The march highlighted the issue of domestic violence - particularly how it affects Native American women - and was sponsored by a number of community groups. The gathering at Superior and Lake was part of the march.
 About 100 people made their way down Lake Avenue from Fourth Street to Canal Park for the march, wearing red shawls and carrying signs imploring people to stop domestic violence by breaking the silence about abuse. "A woman is somebody not some body," read one sign. At the conclusion of the march in Canal Park, the entire crowd moved in a circle to the beat of two drums in a round dance to honor Native American women who are missing or have been killed. Shannon Smallwood recalled her friend, Sheila St. Clair of Duluth, who has been missing since August 2015. St. Clair was traveling to the White Earth Reservation, but never arrived and her family members haven't heard from her since. The Duluth Police Department has called her disappearance "extremely suspect" and is offering a $1,000 reward to anyone providing a tip that leads to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for her disappearance. "I think about her every day," Smallwood said. Smallwood noted that there's still hope that St. Clair will be found after the body of Rose Downwind, living on the Red Lake Reservation, was found after weeks of searching in 2015. "Sheila will be found," Smallwood said.Valentine's Day marks an annual celebration of love - but for some women, relationships are the source of deadly violence.A group of women standing at Superior Street and Lake Avenue in Duluth on Tuesday afternoon represented the number of women, children and bystanders killed in domestic violence in Minnesota last year.Eighteen women were killed by a current or former husband, boyfriend or partner, leaving 14 children motherless in Minnesota last year, said Babette Sandman of Duluth, quoting the Minnesota Coalition for Battered Women's 2016 Femicide Report. The number of women killed in domestic violence fluctuates year to year in Minnesota - the MCBW reported that 34 women were killed in 2015. Additionally, three children were killed by their father as he attempted to kill their mother and three bystanders were killed in domestic violence incidents."If they're hitting you, they don't like you. It's that simple," Sandman said during the second annual Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women's March on Tuesday. The march highlighted the issue of domestic violence - particularly how it affects Native American women - and was sponsored by a number of community groups. The gathering at Superior and Lake was part of the march.
 About 100 people made their way down Lake Avenue from Fourth Street to Canal Park for the march, wearing red shawls and carrying signs imploring people to stop domestic violence by breaking the silence about abuse."A woman is somebody not some body," read one sign.At the conclusion of the march in Canal Park, the entire crowd moved in a circle to the beat of two drums in a round dance to honor Native American women who are missing or have been killed.Shannon Smallwood recalled her friend, Sheila St. Clair of Duluth, who has been missing since August 2015. St. Clair was traveling to the White Earth Reservation, but never arrived and her family members haven't heard from her since. The Duluth Police Department has called her disappearance "extremely suspect" and is offering a $1,000 reward to anyone providing a tip that leads to the arrest and conviction of the person or persons responsible for her disappearance."I think about her every day," Smallwood said.Smallwood noted that there's still hope that St. Clair will be found after the body of Rose Downwind, living on the Red Lake Reservation, was found after weeks of searching in 2015."Sheila will be found," Smallwood said.

3157723+0BzbsdLE9dS1zbUYwV3pYZXdrbWM.jpg
Jessica Marquardt holds a sign while listening to a Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women’s March speaker at Minnesota Power Plaza on Tuesday in Duluth. Steve Kuchera / skuchera@duluthnews.com

Related Topics: CRIME
What to read next
The 12 plaintiffs suffered injuries including bruising from less-lethal munitions, lingering respiratory issues from tear gas and psychological trauma, the ACLU said.