This year’s Take Back the Night Rally at MSU on Thursday focused on a specific issue – missing and murdered indigenous women.
“Bringing it to this stage was important to get the community talking about something they normally don’t talk about,” said Erika Ross.
Flyers for missing indigenous women lined the ballroom at the SUB, but those flyers were only a small depiction of the problem.
“We don’t have statistics for missing and murdered indigenous women,” Ross said. “We don’t know how many are missing.”
Ross added that Montana’s native women are especially vulnerable.
“We are a bordering state to Canada,” she said. “We also have problems with resources – those that come into mine resources, they often bring in predators. Whenever we have resource mining increases we also have trafficking that increases and also the rate of missing women increases.”
Those who have rallied around missing and murdered indigenous women along with another organization called Save Our Sisters is asking for a database that can begin to keep track of these women.
“There is no central location where we can report our sisters or our mothers or our aunts going missing,” said Marena Mato. “The best thing you can be doing is pushing legislatures so they are creating a centralized database. They are creating new laws that specifically protect native women.”