Educational workshops take place as part of annual ‘Memorial March to Honor Lost Children’

Published: Nov. 23, 2021 at 5:37 PM CST
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SIOUX CITY (KTIV) - Native American community members gathered Tuesday in Sioux City hoping to heal and strengthen their community.

Activities continued for the 19th Memorial March to Honor Lost Children. Tuesday was the second day of educational workshops focused on the physical, mental, and spiritual healing of Native American families. The workshops took place at Briar Cliff University.

The memorial march continues this year after the initial march 19 years ago, which was organized to protest the state of Iowa’s Department of Human Services system.

Back then, Native American leaders claimed many Native children, who were adopted into the foster care system, were given to non-Native foster families and were never returned.

“Back then it was more of a protest. Some of the Natives had war paint on. We were there, we were angered by disrespectfulness, a negative attitude. Fast forward to today, 19 years later, it’s all about healing. Getting past what happened in the past. I tell our relatives we can’t change the past but we can learn from it,” said Terry Medina.

Other leaders with the event said it’s important to acknowledge the children that passed away in foster care and those who may have never learned their heritage.

“The children may have never met their family. And it’s important to realize that the families mourn. The child morns. Foster parents witness this mourning processes, we want to acknowledge those tears and we want to acknowledge the lives that are lost and that’s why we march. It’s a prayerful time for us,” said Manape LaMere, an organizer for the event.

The memorial march, itself, begins Wednesday at 7:30 a.m. at War Eagle Monument in Sioux City. Prayer stops are planned at Rosecrance Jackson Centers, the Urban Native Center, and the Woodbury County Courthouse.

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