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Indigenous Equality Walk to be held at Belcourt Thursday

BELCOURT – Members of the local LGBTQ2+ community and its allies will hold an Indigenous Equality Walk on Thursday, Aug. 6, to showcase to the Turtle Mountain Tribal Council that there is widespread support for legislation that would legalize same-sex marriage on the reservation.

The walk will begin at Jollie’s Fairway parking lot at 8:30 a.m. and end at the Tribal Transportation office, where the open public meeting will be held at 10 a.m. Members of the public are invited to attend and should meet at Jollie’s by 8:20 a.m. Participants are strongly encouraged to practice social distancing and other COVID-19 protections, including wearing face masks. Vehicles will be available for those who wish to ride rather than walk in the walk.

Magic City Equality, an LGBTQ2+ nonprofit organization that serves north central and northwestern North Dakota, partnered with members of the Turtle Mountain Two-Spirit Society and members of Turtle Mountain’s LGBTQ2+ community to put together the walk. Three of Magic City Equality’s board members – Jordan Laducer and James C. Falcon, both of Minot, and Tawny Trottier Cale, Minot Air Force Base – have ancestral links to the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians.

“Within our tribe, we have always focused on spirituality and religion. With some disagreeing with this decision, we must remember that within our own tradition, two spirited people were known as leaders or medicine people within the community,” said Laducer, an executive co-director with Magic City Equality and an enrolled member of the Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa Indians. “We must not forget where we came from, but instead bring our heritage and culture to the forefront.”

“This would not only be the first in North Dakota, but it would catapult the Turtle Mountain Reservation into a new progressive lead,” Laducer added. “It’s important that this is established for all LGBTQ2+ individuals because it would show that our reservation believes in equality for all.”

In a statement on its Facebook page, Magic City Equality stated it supports legislation that would legalize same-sex marriage on the Turtle Mountain Reservation and will endeavor to work with the community and its leaders to make the reservation more inclusive to the LGBTQ2+ community. More information about Magic City Equality can be found at www.magiccityequality.com.

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