New fund aims to aid in search of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women

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The City of Duluth, Native Lives Matter Coalition, and Mending the Sacred Hoop held a conference Tuesday to explain the importance of the recently announced Gaagige-Mikwendaagoziwag “You Will Be Remembered Forever” Reward Fund.

The fund was established to aid in finding missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls, and two spirit people.

“This is a community issue. This is a human issue,” explained Duluth Community Relations Officer Alicia Kozlowski. “When any one of us are dehumanized, we’re all dehumanize and we don’t want to be invisible anymore.”

The fund provides a financial incentive for those with information to come forward and aid in ongoing investigations.

“Currently, we have over 19 in the state of Minnesota and in Wisconsin that are missing,” said advocated Rene Ann Goodrich. “So, this is our opportunity to reaffirm that commitment that we have to our community [and] to indigenous communities.”

Chief Mike Tusken with the Duluth Police Department further elaborated on how he felt the fund would benefit search efforts.

“I could list all the leads and the follow up we have done on this case and know that we have been working tirelessly. Every lead gets investigated thoroughly and yet we are still here every year,” he said. “The one thing that we hadn’t had previously is we didn’t have a reward.”

Mayor Emily Larson announced at the conference that the City of Duluth would be putting $2,500 towards that fund bringing the total in the fund to around $6,000.

Donations to the fund can be made here.