“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.