On New Year’s Day, 16-year-old Selena Not Afraid of Hardin was reported missing. Her body was found in a field in Big Horn County 20 days later.
The Missoula community mourned her loss at a candlelight vigil held on the University of Montana’s campus Wednesday. Over 100 people crowded together, holding candles, listening to stories about Selena, and remembering a life lost too soon.
"Really heart wrenching to hear the news of a beautiful, intelligent, smart, outgoing...had her whole life to flourish," said Lauren Small Rodriguez, who is the Missoula Urban Indian Health Center Community organizer.
Selena was a member of Crow Nation and a student at Hardin High School. At the vigil, a fellow member of her tribe recalled Selena’s passion for horse riding and the love she had for her family.
The group reflected on Selena and the countless other indigenous people who have gone missing.
Rodriguez said this isn’t an indigenous crisis, it’s a humanity crisis."It really hurts a person to see our young people really at the hands of injustice."