Guest Contributor Marisa Miakonda Cummings: Remembrance of Savanna LaFontaine-Greywind & all Missing & Murdered Indigenous Women

Prayer group walked to the Missouri River in Sioux City, IA. Savanna LaFontaine-Greywind was found dead in a river in North Dakota after being missing for days. Antonia L Ybarra Photography, see more at: http://bit.ly/2wFqa0X

On August 31, 2017 a group of over 60 people from Sioux City and surrounding communities came together in remembrance of Savana La Fontaine Greywind and all Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women.  The group consisted of many tribal communities and our Non -Indian allies.  We started with a prayer, and two songs from the grandfather big drum.  The first song was a southern song in UmoNhoN and the second song a northern song in Nakota.  This represents the diversity across Indian Country and the communities at the event.

Prayer group walked to the Missouri River in Sioux City, IA. Savanna LaFontaine-Greywind was found dead in a river in North Dakota after being missing for days. Antonia L Ybarra Photography, see more at: http://bit.ly/2wFqa0X
Prayer group by the Missouri River in Sioux City, IA. Savanna LaFontaine-Greywind was found dead in a river in North Dakota after being missing for days. Antonia L Ybarra Photography, see more at: http://bit.ly/2wFqa0X
Candle Light Vigil for Savanna Lafontaine-Greywind. Sincere condolences, thoughts and prayers went out to the Greywind-Lafontaine Family from the prayer group. Photos courtesy of Tasha Williams.

We had several youth attend the event, including many young women eager to offer help.  We had tobacco and a red cloth available for participants to offer prayers.  We then walked the red cloth to the river and offered her our prayers.  The reason the prayers were offered to the water, is because Savanna was found in water and water sustained her baby in her womb.  We stood at the river with our candles while a beautiful song was sung that spoke to our relatives in the stars.  We had a female relative speak to women who die defending their children having a very special place in the spirit world.

Youth representing and shared messages of protecting Native women, at the candle lit vigil by the Missouri river. Antonia L Ybarra Photography, see more at: http://bit.ly/2wFqa0X

Our speakers were members of the community who shared their stories related to Violence Against Native Women.

Our speakers included the following:

Marisa Miakonda Cummings, UmoNhoN, Organizer and Sioux City community member

Gloria Grant Gone- UmoNhoN elder

Michael O’Connor- Yankton Sioux and Sioux City community member

Sasha Rivers, Winnebago Tribe of Nebraska, Sioux City community member

Samuel Grant, UmoNhoN and Sioux City community member

Marguerite Morris, UmoNhoN, Sioux City community member

 

Our singers included the following:

Samuel Grant- UmoNhoN

Canku Wakandgi- Ihanktonwan Nakoda