“The loss of these women affects our communities greatly. Each and every one of them left behind family, loved ones and in many cases children.” ~Denise Stonefish
We pass along this message from our friends at the Missoula Urban Indian Health Center…According to the Sovereign Bodies Institute, over 50 indigenous women and girls went missing in the state of Montana in 2018. Indigenous women and girls make up around 3% to 4% of the population in the state but are around 30% of those deemed missing by the Montana Department of Justice. 97% of perpetrators of violent crime against indigenous women were non-native as found by the National Justice Institute. This is not just a reservation problem; urban areas such as Missoula and Billings have some of the highest cases of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG). Billings is ranked fifth in the nation for MMIWG cases, as stated by the Urban Health Institute. In response to this crisis, The Missoula Urban Indian Health Center (MUIHC), in partnership with the Missoula Human Trafficking Task Force, are committed to addressing this human rights issue.
Historically, red is the color associated with MMIWG awareness. August 10th is the “Rock Your Rodeo Red” MMIWG event at the PRCA Rodeo at the Western Montana Fair Grounds. Show your support for MMIWG families and survivors by purchasing an Indian Taco at the MUIHC booth and a Rock Your Rodeo Red t-shirt at the MUIHC informational booth. The support of the Western Montana Fair will enable MUIHC and the Missoula Human Trafficking Task Force to reach a broad audience of all Montanans who may be unaware of the severity of the MMIWG issue.
This event will include an honoring drum song, a color guard of flags from all Montana tribes, and a procession of families impacted by the crisis. Please join us as we honor the lives and legacies of these indigenous women and girls.
“If we stand tall, it is because we stand on the shoulders of many ancestors.”
Nelson Mandela reminded us of how important it is “…to celebrate milestones as you prepare for the road ahead.” The road we face today is laden with ruts and rocks — obstacles to the world we want. To any one of us, the obstacles may be unbearable. But together, it is a different story. We know we have much to be grateful for at JRPC. We stand on the shoulders of some pretty amazing founders and guardians, and we want to acknowledge them and their contribution to our journey.
This year marks our 25th year owning our storefront on the “Hip Strip” and I continue to marvel at the foresight of those who gave us this gift and to rejoice in being part of this great community of businesses and residents. We invite you to share in our celebration on Tuesday, July 23 from 4-7 pm at the Gild (check out the details below).
We are also planning a July 31 reunion of the folks who have served us as board members over our 33 years. We unfortunately don’t have contact information for some of the 120+ folks on our list. So if you helped steer this organization as a member of the Coordinating Council and haven’t heard from us, please call us at 543-3955 or send me an email. Let’s celebrate the people and passion of the past and join together to raise the bar a little higher…Betsy
Tuesday, July 23, 4-7 pm, The Gild. Join JRPC for a celebration of our 25 years on the Hip Strip. A suggested donation of $25 includes snacks and 2 drinks. Jesse Dee will play music from 5-6:30 and everyone who comes will be entered into a raffle for a basket filled with goodies from our generous Hip Strip neighbors. Of course, you can purchase extra raffle tickets or items off the Gild menu. Thanks for celebrating with us!
The love of one’s country is a splendid thing. But why should love stop at the border?”
Love does not stop at borders; it transcends them. Tonight Missoula will be joining
Artist: Ben Wild Flower
hundreds of cities around the nation and across Montana to call for an end to child and family detention at the border. In partnership with Montanans for Immigrant Justice, Missoula Rises and Soft Landing Missoula, we invite you to join the Lights For Liberty Vigil to express our horror at the conditions in the detention center and the deaths of 7 children in America’s custody. Violence is not only what we do or say. It is also what we allow. The most vulnerable need us to educate our minds, open our hearts and raise our voices to protect them. Tonight, let us join together in solidarity with the world. And tomorrow, let us find our path to action…Betsy
Friday, July 12, 7:30 pm, St Paul’s Lutheran Church (202 Brooks). Close The Camps Rally in conjunction with the national Lights for Liberty — Stand to voice our horror over the situation on the southern border- specifically in relation to detained children. Join with others in Missoula and around the nation. There are rallies planned for all across the country, including Helena and many other cities. For a listing near you, visit https://www.lightsforliberty.org/
“…And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.” – concluding words of the Declaration of Independence
Today we celebrate its 243rd “Independence Day” with fireworks and flag-waving. While there is much to celebrate in the birth of our nation and the ideals of liberty and freedom that are the foundation of our constitution, much of the celebrating has become an exercise in glorifying war – the songs, the armored vehicles on parade, the military shows of strength and glory. War is unfortunately a part of our heritage as a nation, but there is so much more to celebrate, and other ways to serve. As long as we glorify war and perpetuate the view that no other service to country is as honorable or heroic as becoming a part of the military killing machine, we will continue to have wars and our sons and daughters will continue to seek the paths we so glorify.
The closing words of the Declaration of Independence call us to pledge our support for each other as we work together to make this country better. We at JRPC have called this day “Interdependence” day. Instead of glorifying war, let us think about and honor the indigenous Americans we displaced, the countries and peoples around the world we share this earth with, the earth itself and all our fellow creatures, the millions of immigrants that make our country rich with diversity, the neighbors we share our communities with, the civil servants who work hard with few rewards and all the heroes who worked and died to protect the human and civil rights of all of us. Let us celebrate those who serve our country in compassion and generosity – true to the spirit of liberty and justice for all. When I lift my red, white and blue, it will be for all of you…Betsy