Toledo Police Department to host missing or murdered Indigenous persons solidarity event on May 5


The Toledo Police Department will host a missing or murdered Indigenous persons (MMIP) solidarity event at Toledo Middle School on May 5, which is MMIP National Awareness Day. 

“We are teaming up with the City of Toledo and their law enforcement agency, who approved adding the MMIP ‘Solidarity’ badge to their uniforms,” Earth-Feather Sovereign Lim Limpt, an enrolled Colville Confederated Tribes member and founder of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women Washington, said in a news release. “We are hoping that other states, counties, cities and tribes also adopt these measures. We are inviting you to come witness and participate in these monumental efforts.”

Doors will open at 1 p.m. Honorariums and a meal will be provided.

“The City of Toledo/Toledo Police Department are setting the standard and raising awareness by adopting a supplemental patch to the official police uniform. We encourage other law enforcement programs to show support by doing the same,” Toledo Police Chief Duane Garvais Lawrence said in an email to The Chronicle.

A descendent of the Colville Tribe and Fort Peck Assiniboine, Garvais Lawrence launched the grassroots Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women Bike-Run in 2020, inviting bikers and runners to join him on a route from the Washington state Capitol in Olympia to the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., to help uplift tribal communities and raise awareness about crimes against Indigenous people.

“What research has shown us so far is that the continued homicide rate is the third leading cause of death for native women 10 years old to 24 years old. Native American women experience violence at 10 times the national average,” Limpt stated in a news release. “We want to encourage each law enforcement agency to adopt de-escalate tactics, empathy training to include a MMIP ‘Solidarity’' badge, as well as more tribal community involvement to help create better government-to-government and community relationships with Indigenous people. We believe in participating and encouraging our Indigenous communities and allies to participate in this call to action.”