Red Ribbon Skirt Society founder reacts to new MMIP liaison staffing

While the Rushmore state was able to hire people for both MMIP liaison and human trafficking...
While the Rushmore state was able to hire people for both MMIP liaison and human trafficking coordinator, members of the Red Ribbon Skirt Society were left unhappy with the decision to hire someone who was not native.(KOTA KEVN)
Published: Nov. 30, 2022 at 6:22 PM MST
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) - Finding missing people and preventing the heartbreak of their families within the indigenous community is the core of one of the organizations close to the Black Hills.

According to the founder of the Red Ribbon Skirt Society, Lily Mendoza, the staffing of two positions in the state of South Dakota (Allison Morrisette for the Missing and Murdered Indigenous People position and Mary Beth Holzwarth to help combat human trafficking) would help the organization by creating a venue they can point people toward if they are not able to provide help due to their limited resources. She also mentioned that this would benefit not only the Black Hills, but also the entire state.

“We just don’t have the capacity to help and serve all murdered indigenous people. So that’s a big plus to have them there because when I do get some of those calls. I don’t want to turn anybody away and now what I can do is say ‘okay there is an office here this is the information, and you can start to contact them to help you with this,” said Mendoza.

Mendoza added when the position was first created there was hope that it would be filled by an indigenous person. Although, two positions were created -- the MMIP Liaison and a human trafficking coordinator.

While one of the positions is not filled by an indigenous person, Mendoza is still hoping that the human trafficking coordinator, Mary Beth Holzwarth, will take the time to build trust within the community.