RAPID CITY, S.D.(KOTA)- What was Valentine’s Day for many Americans was much more somber for about 20 residents of the Black Hills, who braved the cold for a candlelight vigil last night hosted by the Red Ribbon Skirt Society.
The group, head by Lily Mendoza, cried, prayed, and smudged themselves in sage in remembrance of missing and murdered indigenous peoples.
Mendoza opened the vigil with a land acknowledgement.
Following Mendoza was Darla Black, an advocate in the MMIW movement, representing three different organizations including the Red Ribbon Skirt Society.
Black led the group in prayer to the four directions.
Black then gently returned some soil to the earth before offering a translation of her words.
Recently, a pair of bodies were discovered on the Pine Ridge reservation, and a 15 year-old disabled indigenous child was reported missing, though ultimately found in Rapid City.
Monday was the national MMIW Day of Action.