BEMIDJI -- Despite frigid temperatures, organizers of Bemidji's Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women’s walk still hosted their fifth annual event on Sunday.

Others joined them and about 30 people held signs and red dresses along Paul Bunyan Drive from noon until 12:30 p.m. to bring attention to the disproportionate amount of violence that is perpetrated against Indigenous women.

The rally was initially scheduled to go on for two hours. Other events commemorating and bringing awareness to the MMIW issues still went on online.

Local MMIW movement coordinator Tamika-Jo Andy said the group of six organizers who have put on the walk for the last five years led a series of webinars during the preceding week, hoping to fill in the gap usually filled with speakers and community discussion during the walk event.

Andy also called for allies to join in and show their support around the Bemidji area when she spoke with the Pioneer last week.

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“If business owners or people that just want to support the MMIW and raise awareness for it, they could hang a red dress in their window, in their yard, by their doorframes, so the community can see that they support MMIW and they’re trying to understand what it is and how Bemidji is affected,” she said. “It’s really important to have allies in the Bemidji community showing support to this issue, because we all have a role to play in making this a safer place to live for everybody.”

A group participating in the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women’s rally waits to cross Paul Bunyan Drive on Sunday. (Jillian Gandsey / Bemidji Pioneer)
A group participating in the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women’s rally waits to cross Paul Bunyan Drive on Sunday. (Jillian Gandsey / Bemidji Pioneer)

A family holds signs along Paul Bunyan Drive during the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women’s rally on Sunday. (Jillian Gandsey / Bemidji Pioneer)
A family holds signs along Paul Bunyan Drive during the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women’s rally on Sunday. (Jillian Gandsey / Bemidji Pioneer)

Participants in the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women’s rally hold a signs during a shortened version of the event on Sunday. (Jillian Gandsey / Bemidji Pioneer)
Participants in the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women’s rally hold a signs during a shortened version of the event on Sunday. (Jillian Gandsey / Bemidji Pioneer)

A group sings and holds signs along Paul Bunyan Drive during the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women’s rally on Sunday. (Jillian Gandsey / Bemidji Pioneer)
A group sings and holds signs along Paul Bunyan Drive during the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women’s rally on Sunday. (Jillian Gandsey / Bemidji Pioneer)