Nearly a dozen events will take place in Duluth and neighboring communities throughout the months of January and February.
Trafficking Awareness Month will kick off in Duluth with an event at noon Monday at Dr. Robert Powless Cultural Center, 202 W. Second St., with a red shawl round dance and remarks from various leaders.
Mayor Emily Larson and U.S. Senator Tina Smith will both provide remarks at Monday’s events, as will Minnesota State Rep. Mary Kunesh-Podein, D-New Brighton, and Fond du Lac Band council member Roger Smith.
The events will place emphasis on how human trafficking intersects with the missing and murdered indigenous women crisis, according to a news release from PAVSA, or the Program for Aid to Victims of Sexual Assault. Native women are trafficked at 10 times the rate of other populations in the region.
“We all have a role to play in preventing exploitation and trafficking,” the news release states. “Enhancing awareness of the crime and committing to prevention is paramount.”
Other Trafficking Awareness Month events
- Two Harbors Candlelight Vigil; 4:30 p.m. Jan. 9 at Lake County Courthouse
- “How youth get caught up in sex trafficking;” 8 a.m. Jan. 14 at Life House Youth Center, 102 W. First St. in Duluth
- Gichi Manidoo Giizis Pow Wow; 9 a.m.-11 p.m. Jan. 18 at Black Bear Casino, 1785 Highway 210 in Carlton
- Red dress, red skirt making; 1-6 p.m. Jan. 19 at Building for Women, 32 E. First St. in Duluth
- MMIW research project presentation; 5 p.m. Jan. 25 at Dr. Robert Powless Cultural Center, 202 W. Second St.
- Brave Art Youth Resource Fair; 5-7 p.m. Feb. 6
- MMIW banner and art making; 2-6 p.m. Feb. 13 at Central Hillside Community Center, 12 E. Fourth St. in Duluth
- 5th Annual MMIW Memorial March; 2-6 p.m. Feb. 14 at American Indian Community Housing Org., 202 W. Second St. in Duluth
- Great Lakes Red for MMIW Initiative; 4:30-6:30 p.m. at Duluth Public Library, 520 N. First Ave E. in Duluth
Anyone looking for help and information regarding human trafficking can call the National Human Trafficking Resource Center at 1-888-373-7888 or the StrongHearts Native Helpline at 1-844-762-8483.