Column: Yankton Sioux Tribe uses death to rally against meth

"The message “Happy 3rd Birthday” written on the window of a boarded up house was a stark reminder of why people gathered here Monday afternoon.

It would have been RieLee Lovell’s third birthday Monday, but instead about 200 people gathered outside the home in a walk to to raise awareness of the dangers of methamphetamine.

People carried signs reading “Our children are sacred” and “Remember RieLee” in a walk that started at the home where Lovell’s body was discovered in a closet by law enforcement July 4 and weaved to a Wagner city park.

Thurman Cournoyer, Yankton Sioux tribal chairman, said a lot of the community knows about the drug use and where it is coming from but they just brush it under the rug.

“(People) don’t show up until something like this happens,” he said. “It’s bad that it takes a tragedy to reach people.”

Get the Story:
Mark Walker: Town turns pain into rally against meth (The Sioux Falls Argus Leader 7/31)

Related Stories:
Memorial walk planned in honor of Yankton Sioux girl who died (7/19)
Yankton Sioux leader calls methamphetamine a major problem (7/17)
Adults charged in connection to death at Yankton Sioux complex (7/13)
Adults might face charges for murder at Yankton Sioux complex (7/12)
Yankton Sioux Tribe shocked by murder of two-year-old toddler (7/11)

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