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Keweenaw Bay Indian Community holds 12th annual Domestic Violence Awareness Walk

The walk is held in memory Chelsey LaFernier
Published: Oct. 8, 2021 at 4:32 PM EDT
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BARAGA, Mich. (WLUC) - October is domestic violence awareness month and the Keweenaw Bay Indian Community held its 12th annual awareness walk today in memory of member Chelsey LaFernier.

The walk started with a welcome from the Tribal Chairman, a drum song by Woodland Singers and a prayer for Chelsey LaFernier and other victims of domestic violence. LaFernier was 23 years old when she was murdered by her significant other in 2009.

“She had a plan. She was leaving this person. She actually had a ticket for him to leave. But apparently that didn’t happen.” says Carole LaPointe, an organizer for the walk.

As many as 1 in 4 native women are victims of domestic violence before the age of 21. LaPointe says she receives about 100 calls a year seeking help for abuse.

The KBIC hosts the awareness walks each year to fundraise for survivors living in Niimigimiwang, a transitional home.

“Grants don’t cover personal items for survivors in the home.”

The route of the walk serves as a reminder of LaFernier’s tragic death... “This route goes past where this happened, and we want to be mindful that that occurred and try to educate people on ways to not have violence in their lives.”

The KBIC is issuing PSA’s on Eagle Radio all month, voiced by LaFernier’s daughter Lexi.

There are plans in the works for an additional transitional home. “By 2023 we’re going to have another home over on the L’Anse side, and we’re going to have two units available for men.”

If you need to seek help for domestic violence and are a member or a descendent of a KBIC member, you can call the 24/7 crisis line at 906-353-4599.

For more information about domestic violence in Michigan, visit here.

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