Gov. Kristi Noem and Jimmy Hallum (back left) join other advocates at the unveiling of the Women and Children's Honor Quilt at the South Dakota Capitol in Pierre. Right back row (left to right) are Wilfred Keeble and Roland (Yamni) Roach III. Front row (left to right) are Velma Alaniz, Caroline Carlson, Patty Provost, Rev. Dr. Marilyn van Duffelen, Perry Little, and South Dakota Tribal Relations Secretary Dave Flute. Photo courtesy South Dakota Gov. Kristi Noem

Quilt hangs to shield women

PIERRE – To raise awareness about the need for shielding Indian women and children from currently unrivaled levels of violence, advocates took part in a quilt-hanging at the South Dakota State Capitol on November 4.

The Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women Quilt remains on display at the statehouse, a gift to Gov. Kristi Noem for her support of related initiatives, such as a June 2019 horseback ride here when she received it.

“The ride was a solemn time where we mourned the loss of these individuals and reinforced our commitment to address violence against Native American women,” Noem said at the unveiling event. “I’m humbled by this gift and am grateful for the opportunity to display it in our statehouse.”

Native American women are murdered at a rate 10 times higher than any other demographic. Four out of five experience violence in their lifetimes.

“Here in South Dakota, I’m hoping we lead the nation in stopping it,” Noem pronounced.

Event participant Jimmy Hallum explained the provenance of the quilt. Organizers planned the ride that Noem joined as a link between today’s unchecked violence against native women with that perpetrated ever since more than a century ago.

It spotlighted the imprisonment of women and children at Ft. Randall on today’s Crow Creek Sioux Indian Reservation in the leadup to the mass execution of their warriors at Mankato, Minnesota, an outcome of the 1862 U.S.-Dakota War.

More than 300 captive women and children died after succumbing to starvation and nearly unspeakable denigration, according to historical research.

Hallum winces at “the horrors the women went through, watching their children die and suffering abuses from the very soldiers sent there to guard them.”

So, his group rode to Pierre, to the capitol, “to bring awareness about the abuses that occurred to the women back then, also to the ones suffering today with all the missing and murdered indigenous relatives,” he said.


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Contact Talli Nauman at talli.nauman(at)

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