MANDAN, N.D. (KXNET) — September 25th marked one year since Kevin Grey Bull was found deceased by the trolley bridge in Mandan after receiving multiple stab wounds. No one has been arrested for the crime, and no formal person of interest has been named — but just because the case has gone cold does not mean that the community at large has forgotten him. On the evening of Sunday, November 5, a group of Mandan residents gathered together to celebrate his life.
“Today we had a prayer vigil,” explained Missing and Murdered Indigenous Relatives Advocate Alba Gabe. “And it turned out really, really nice. It was beautiful here, and the rain softened it up. We had a lot of people show up for justice for Kevin Grey Bull, who was viciously attacked and murdered down here. We hope that if somebody sees this, they can answer our prayers, and we can give the family closure.”
The gathering was a time of remembrance and prayer as the group shared stories about Kevin and the type of person he was. Many agreed that Grey Bull had a kind demeanor and a giving spirit. Though Kevin was homeless at the time of his death, he still helped those around him.
“A lot of times, the Native American homeless community in Bismarck-Mandan is forgotten, neglected, and looked down upon,” said Sacred Pipe Resource Center Executive Director Cheryl Kari. “This event today was a call for compassion … we need to have compassion for each other, and for the difficulties of living in this community and in this world — especially after having gone through so much trauma that a lot of people in the homeless community experience. I think it’s important to remember that those lives matter. Every life matters. They all bring value to this world.”
The overall message from the event: Kevin has passed away, but his legacy lives on. He touched many lives and is inspiring change. Those who want to honor his memory are encouraged to be there for one another during this difficult time.
“Start looking out for each other,” suggested Gabe. “We need to start treating each other better. We need to start helping each other. When you see a homeless person, talk to them. Help them. Buy them coffee, visit with them. Give them water. Give them food. This doesn’t need to go on anymore. We need to start stepping up and helping them.”
Gabe said that part of solving this problem comes from small acts of kindness — and while they may not seem like much to some, it can mean the world to people struggling on the streets.