Hundreds show solidarity in Billings for the MMIP crisis

On Saturday, April 15, hundreds of people gathered at the Babcock Theater in Billings for the local premiere of Murder in Big Horn, a new documentary series from Showtime about the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG) and Missing and Murdered Indigenous People (MMIP) epidemic facing Montana’s Indigenous communities.

Northern Plains was grateful to partner with Western Native Voice, Four Points Media, MMIP Billings, the Yellowstone County Area Human Trafficking Task Force, the Billings Urban Indian Health and Wellness Center, Friends of the Children – Eastern Montana Chapter, the Snowbird Fund, and the Montana Community Foundation to co-host the screening.

Murder in Big Horn documents in three parts a devastating string of disappearances of young Indigenous girls in Big Horn County, Montana and offers a small glimpse into the crisis happening in Native American tribes and communities across the country. Here in Montana, Indigenous people make up about 6.7% of the population but account for 26% of missing persons cases, according to a report from the Montana Department of Justice.

Blackfeet filmmakers Ivy and Ivan MacDonald, who produced the series, were in attendance for the Billings screening. So were Paula Castro, Cheryl Horn, and Yolanda Fraser, all mothers or close relatives of missing family members whose stories were told in the documentary. It was the first time this community of people – joined by Northern Plains members in the audience – was together for a showing of Murder in Big Horn.

Tom Mexicancheyenne, a Northern Cheyenne tribal member and active Northern Plains member-leader, welcomed the crowd gathered on behalf of Northern Plains. “This is an issue that affects all of us,” he added. “If any of our communities are not safe, that’s an issue for all Montanans.”
With questions or to learn more about our work on MMIWG and MMIP, contact Caitlin at caitlin@northernplains.org.

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