EVENTS & HOLIDAYS

Utah group hosting healing and prayer event for missing, murdered Indigenous people

May 4, 2024, 11:43 AM

MADISON, WISCONSIN - MAY 05: Signs to commemorate Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls a...

MADISON, WISCONSIN - MAY 05: Signs to commemorate Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls are placed outside of the Wisconsin State Capitol on May 05, 2022 in Madison, Wisconsin. According to the Washington State Patrol, figures show that 126 Indigenous people are unaccounted for in the state. According to the Urban Indian Health Institute, data collected by researchers from 71 cities across 29 states shows 506 cases of missing and murdered native women and girls in the U.S. (Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)

(Photo by Stacy Revere/Getty Images)

MIDVALE — Recognizing the disproportionately high rates of violence that Indigenous people face, Shelby Chapoose hopes, can lead to change.

“We cannot be a functioning society as long as these injustices continue,” said Chapoose, executive director of Indigenous Health and Wellness Connections, a Midvale-based advocacy group for the indigenous community. “Coming together as a community to support, learn and take action is a vital step toward healing and change.”

With that in mind, the organization is hosting a Healing and Prayer Event on Sunday as part of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Persons Awareness Day. It goes from 10 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. and will be held at Warm Springs Park, 840 N. 300 West in Salt Lake City. The event — one of many across the country to mark the day, according to Native News Online — serves to educate participants and will also include discussion and prayer.

“By acknowledging the land and the lives of our missing and murdered Indigenous relatives, we honor our value and add power to the collective healing process,” Chapoose said. “It is vital for our communities to gather, share our stories and support each other in these efforts.”

SLC mural unveiled for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women Awareness Day

President Joe Biden issued a statement Friday noting that Native American communities “have been devastated by an epidemic of disappearances and killings, too often without resolution, justice or accountability.” He went on, saying Missing and Murdered Indigenous Persons Awareness Day serves “to honor the individuals missing and the lives lost” and that government leaders “recommit” to working with tribal leaders to address the issues.

American Indian and Alaska Native people face “a disproportionate risk” of facing violence, being murdered or going missing, according to the U.S. Department of the Interior Bureau of Indian Affairs. They account for “a significant portion of the missing and murdered cases.”

Last March, responding to a series of recommendations issued in November by the Not Invisible Act Commission to help address the situation, federal officials acknowledged that more needs to be done. “We see you and hear you, and you have our sincerest condolences,” U.S. Interior Secretary Deb Haaland and U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland said.

Biden’s proclamation on Friday referenced some of the steps his administration has taken, including moves to implement Not Invisible Act Commission recommendations. Federal officials have accelerated investigations in the area while the U.S. Department of Interior and FBI have hired more personnel to assist in the process.

In a blog on Thursday, Nicole Stahlmann with the Division of Nursing Services within Indian Health Service noted the particular dangers Indigenous women face. Indian Health Service is within the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services.

“Alarmingly, an average of 40% of women involved in sex trafficking are identified as American Indian and Alaska Native,” she wrote. Homicide, she went on, “is the third-highest cause of death for Native girls aged 15 to 19 and women aged 20 to 24. In some communities, American Indian and Alaska Native women face murder rates more than 10 times the national average.”

KSL 5 TV Live

Events & Holidays

Live Your Dash 5K and fun run in memory of Dee Smith, who served as Weber County Attorney, and sudd...

Mike Anderson

‘Live Your Dash 5K and fun run’ in memory of Dee Smith

A 5K is being held at Friendship Park in South Ogden in memory of Dee Smith, a Weber County Attorney who was beloved by the community.

3 days ago

The Hill family (Courtesy Angie Erickson)...

Angie Denison, KSL TV

Scarlet’s journey: Unraveling the ribbons of genetic secrets

When Scarlet and her family participated in the 2022 Give-A-Thon, she was an active kindergartner with an undiagnosed genetic disorder that causes developmental delays and seizures.

3 days ago

Sundance Film Festival opens up the chance for audience members to vote on their favorite film (Cou...

Carlysle Price

Sundance Film Festival announces film voting open for Local Lens program

Sundance Film Festival has announced it's Local Lens program will be returning this summer. This year, for the first time ever, audience members get to vote for which movies they want to see.

10 days ago

DENVER, CO - MAY 04:  Children participate in a Cinco de Mayo parade celebrating Mexican culture on...

Associated Press

It’s Cinco de Mayo time, and festivities are planned across the US. But in Mexico, not so much

The United States is gearing up for Cinco de Mayo. Music, all-day happy hours and deals on tacos are planned at venues across the country on Sunday — May 5 — in a celebration with widely misunderstood origins that is barely recognized south of the border.

16 days ago

One-year-old Onyx Oderra  was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia last month, an aggressive...

Emma Benson

Family holds blood drive for one-year-old boy fighting cancer

One-year-old Onyx Onederra was diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia last month, an aggressive type of blood cancer.

16 days ago

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - FEBRUARY 23: A young fan displays her ticket for Taylor Swift's first Sydney co...

Anita Snow, Associated Press

Record Store Day celebrates indie retail music sellers as they ride vinyl’s popularity wave

Special LP releases, live performances and at least one giant block party are scheduled around the U.S. Saturday as hundreds of shops celebrate Record Store Day during a surge of interest in vinyl during a surge of interest in vinyl and the day after the release of Taylor Swift's latest album.

30 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Electrician repairing ceiling fan with lamps indoors...

Lighting Design

Stay cool this summer with ceiling fans

When used correctly, ceiling fans help circulate cool and warm air. They can also help you save on utilities.

Side view at diverse group of children sitting in row at school classroom and using laptops...

PC Laptops

5 Internet Safety Tips for Kids

Read these tips about internet safety for kids so that your children can use this tool for learning and discovery in positive ways.

Women hold card for scanning key card to access Photocopier Security system concept...

Les Olson

Why Printer Security Should Be Top of Mind for Your Business

Connected printers have vulnerable endpoints that are an easy target for cyber thieves. Protect your business with these tips.

Modern chandelier hanging from a white slanted ceiling with windows in the backgruond...

Lighting Design

Light Up Your Home With These Top Lighting Trends for 2024

Check out the latest lighting design trends for 2024 and tips on how you can incorporate them into your home.

Technician woman fixing hardware of desktop computer. Close up....

PC Laptops

Tips for Hassle-Free Computer Repairs

Experiencing a glitch in your computer can be frustrating, but with these tips you can have your computer repaired without the stress.

Close up of finger on keyboard button with number 11 logo...

PC Laptops

7 Reasons Why You Should Upgrade Your Laptop to Windows 11

Explore the benefits of upgrading to Windows 11 for a smoother, more secure, and feature-packed computing experience.

Utah group hosting healing and prayer event for missing, murdered Indigenous people