Dragging the Red

 Mel with Drag the Red volunteers.

Mel with Drag the Red volunteers.

I’ve always loved water. Being out on a boat has always felt exhilarating. It’s always given me a sense of freedom.  When I went out in the boat with the Drag the Red Volunteers and Amanda it was a different feeling. I felt a heaviness almost a feeling of dread. The feeling of knowing we were out looking for missing and murdered Indigenous people. I felt proud to be a part of something so important, but it felt terrible it was even necessary.


When on the boat everyone was relaxed, laughing and sharing stories.  Everyone welcomed Amanda and I on board and tried to teach us about how the drags worked. 


As I sat and listened to the stories of why people are involved in Drag the Red, it opened my eyes to how many people in our community are so deeply affected by MMIW.  I personally have lost someone. It affected me deeply, but the closure is what allowed me to heal. To try to put myself in the shoes of those searching is hard – no, hard is too simple of a word – it’s impossible. To imagine an unresolved loss is infuriating.


Every time I felt the boat jerk, I imagined the families searching for their loved ones. I thought of my sister, my mother and my friend. I watched as they pulled up the hooks and hoped they found something, but dreaded that they would. Drag the Red is doing something no one else will. I commend them and I am happy be a part of what they are doing.  I am starting to comprehend the depth of importance a little more each time.