Sioux City marchers. (KSCJ photo)

The 20th Annual Memorial March for Lost Children was today in Sioux City.

The march began as a protest against the number of Native American children placed in the foster care system in Woodbury County. Native American advocate, Terry Medina, spoke as the march got underway.

“Today is a kind of a sacred kind of day it’s a reminder, a memorial to pray to God that he blesses us with our children,” he says. Briar Cliff University hosted workshops Tuesday in Sioux City to reflect on the struggle of native communities with the child welfare system.

Medina was part of the workshops and says they want to help people understand and heal from the past. “Historical trauma is very, very much alive. For me, I try to, my message is, you know, we can’t change the past, but we can learn from the past,” Medina says. Manape LaMere says they also work to examine the barriers that the Native community faces, both legally and socially.

“We’re also talking about solutions. How do we, what could we do around here? We challenge one another to rise to the occasion somehow.,” LaMere says. The march includes prayers along the way, and concludes with a dinner.

(By Kendall Crawford, Iowa Public Radio/Woody Gottburg, KSCJ Sioux City)