Published September 11, 2019
FORT DECHESNE, Utah The Northern Ute people will have a Walk/Rally for Missing and Murdered Indian People. The Walk/Rally, organized by the Missing Indigenous People’s Group will take place in Fort Duchesne, Utah on November 9, 2019.
The Missing Indigenous People’s Group was envisioned by Long Walker Jeff Moreno, when a few years ago a friend’s child came up missing. Damon Boyd, is the boy and he is still missing. With the help of Mary Toapum, director of A.I.M. Indian Territory they started Missing Indigenous People’s Group on Facebook.
“This site gives families an opportunity to post about their loved ones that are missing. It is a chance to give back to our people. We have helped many families, here in the states and in Canada”. Jeff said he named it ‘Missing Indigenous People’, because the word ‘people’ represents the whole family unit: Men, women, children, grandma, grandpa, among others, says Toapum.
“We have over 20 open cases in Utah of Missing Indigenous People, some cases are considered cold cases. A few are decades old. We want to remember those missing, but also to let their families know that we haven’t forgotten them, Jeff continues.
Missing Indigenous People’s Group was endorsed by Wes Studi on his site last month. Veteran A.I.M. Wounded Knee Warrior David Hill also joined the group recently.
The purpose of the Rally is important because organizers want Utah and the five recognized tribes to know that Native people are standing in unison with them demanding justice for those missing and their families.
“The Walk is important because it shows action, not just words, says Moreno. “Utah is the new home for ‘Missing Indigenous People’s Group’ on Facebook. With the help of the mighty Northern Ute Tribe, and it’s members, we can make a difference in the constant fight to stop human/sex trafficking of our Indigenous people! We want justice, notoriety, but more importantly, we want our missing indigenous people back home with the one’s that loved them the most, their families!”
Melinda Wopsock is a member of the Northern Ute Tribe of Utah and Missing Indigenous People’s Rally Coordinator. Melinda said: “Having the organization, Missing Indigenous People, here in Utah, means we can represent all five tribes of Utah in a good way! So we can all come together and demand the US Government recognize the importance of our Missing People. We currently have over twenty open cases in Utah. We want better investigation methods to find our people and Database that primarily focuses on missing Indigenous people within the state of Utah.”
The Walk will be headed by Wounded Knee and AIM Warrior, Hereditary Oneida Chief Harry Goodwolf Kindness.
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