A day meant for love is bringing together a community, and providing a little healing and hope.
“Today is a celebration of hope and community coming together. And you know Valentine’s Day is all about love and so that’s one of the reasons that it’s really important to host events like,” shared Sheridan McNeil, the United Tribes and Technical College Career and Technical Education Director.
Each year, they remember their hearts event takes place to raise awareness about the ongoing problem of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women.
Red dresses hang around the UTTC gym to represent those who have gone missing.
“We have different sizes, different styles, different lengths because they’re all different kind of women who have gone missing. They come from different backgrounds, different heritages, different tribes different families, different values,” shared guest speaker Swan American Horse.
This year, event coordinators expanded to Missing and Murdered Indigenous People as it’s not only women going missing.
UTTC President Dr. Russ McDonald said hosting events like this helps bring awareness to not only students but also the Native American community.
“We’re not only fulfilling our educational role but are also looking at our societies and how we can help them through education that is culturally based,” shared McDonald.
Hope is the message as attendees gather and march to raise awareness about MMIP.
This is the third year for the remember their hearts event. Each year as the crowd grows as does the event. The event also celebrated the safe return of Kara Mauai who was missing for two months before being found in January.