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MMIP awareness raised during second run, walk gathering

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PABLO — Runners and walkers gathered to raise awareness about Missing and Murdered Indigenous People for the second annual 5K gathering at the Salish and Kootenai College on May 4, which is the National Day of Awareness for Missing and Murdered Indigenous People.

Nikki McKinsey, who is one of the event coordinators and a family doctor at Saint Joseph Medical Center, could be found talking with runners before they headed to the start. Before she made it out to the 5k herself, she had a few things to say about the event.

“I work with the community, and I see how my patients are affected by MMIP, so I felt there was something more that we could do, … we wanted to bring more awareness to the community and fundraise for our CSKT MMIP local victim services.” 

She added that any kind of awareness around MMIP is important, “Support, in any way you can, if it’s coming out to events like this or having a conversation around it.”

Dana Grant, a representative from Safe Harbor, said: “Thank you to everyone who came out. If you don’t want to run the 5K, you can run one loop or you can run half, either way, have fun and make sure you stretch before the run gets started.” 

Before the event, Grant stated: “On the Flathead Reservation, the truth of the Missing and Murder Indigenous People challenge has directly affected families and friends, who are still looking for their loved ones. That is why an ongoing need exists to raise community awareness and promote individual engagement in prevention.”

The crowd varied with all sorts of participants ranging from runners and walkers to strollers and wheelchairs.

Kaden Thomas, a participant who had his little girl in a stroller, said: “I came out today because I grew up in this community and the idea of supporting missing Indigenous people is something that’s close to home, and I think it’s an important cause to bring awareness to.”


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