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Candlelight vigil held to honor lost indigenous community members

Event organizers hope Saturday’s vigil can provide a sense of healing and unity.
Event organizers hope Saturday’s vigil can provide a sense of healing and unity.(Nick Nelson)
Published: Jun. 13, 2021 at 9:02 PM MDT|Updated: Jun. 13, 2021 at 9:03 PM MDT
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RAPID CITY, S.D. (KEVN) - Police on Wednesday found a man dead on a small Island within Rapid Creek.

Investigators later identified the man as 56-year-old Keith Dubray Sr. Dubray had been associated with the homeless population in Rapid City.

A candlelight vigil was held Saturday night by the OyateKin ChanteWastepi organization at Memorial Park. The event was to remember Dubray, but also bring the community together to address the loss of life in the city’s indigenous population.

“We welcome everyone of every ethnicity and every background to come and remember all the ones who have passed away, especially from COVID and different things affecting our community,” event organizer Natalhee Shields said. “So, we’d just like to be a community and come together in a positive way.”

The organization’s founder Lloyd Big Crow said that the issues affecting the indigenous community can be addressed by communication between the younger generation, and tribal elders.

”The elders have a lot of stories that the youth need to hear that would help them become successful adults or give back to the community, or just be successful individuals.”

The organization puts on a weekly picnic, where on Friday, many in attendance we’re grieving the loss of Dubray. Event organizers hope Saturday’s vigil can provide a sense of healing and unity.

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