MISSOULA — Following Canada’s lead, from here on February 14th in Missoula will be known as Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women Awareness Day.
The Missoula City Council's proclamation comes just weeks after 16-year-old Hardin girl Selena Not Afraid was found dead in Big Horn County.
Jermain Charlo, the 24-year-old Native American woman who disappeared near the Orange Street Food Farm in 2018, is still missing.
Native Americans make up 6.7% of Montana’s population, but from 2016 to 2018, they made up 26% of the state’s missing people cases.
As this crisis escalates, advocates hope this proclamation will spur awareness in Montana, the Great Plains Region, and throughout the United States.
“I just hope that everyone takes a minute to think about if it was their own daughter, if it was their own sister or cousin,” said Missoula resident Amber Shaffer. “We just want those same resources and timeline that everyone else gets, and not have to rely on Facebook shares and messages.”
The National Day of Awareness for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women will be held on May 5th.