Now that I know so many Indigenous woman are missing, what can I/we do to help???

Aymara woman in the countryside

The other day Brianna, Dominique and I went to see the film Wind River.  So I don’t do the description of the film any injustice I’m going to copy and paste the synopsis written for the it here, in the event that those of you reading haven’t heard about this movie; which is based on a true story.

“Cory Lambert is a wildlife officer who finds the body of an 18-year-old woman on an American Indian reservation in snowy Wyoming. When the autopsy reveals that she was raped, FBI agent Jane Banner arrives to investigate. Teaming up with Lambert as a guide, the duo soon find that their lives are in danger while trying to solve the mystery of the teen’s death.”

I knew what the movie was about going in, which is why it wasn’t exactly on my “must see” list.  I mean let’s face it, there is no parent on the planet who wants to go sit in a movie theater and watch a young girl be raped and left for dead.  It really is a parent’s worse nightmare that some horrible crime will be committed against their child.  Well, I should be careful when I make these sweeping blanket statements for all parents.  I cannot speak for all of you, but for me, a mother of three girls it is something I pray our girls are protected from every day, without fail.  Also every night, without fail, before I fall asleep the fact that the five of us, that make up my little family, got through the day safely is always at the top of my list of the things that I tell the universe that I’m grateful for.

I see a lot of movies, one because I love them, and secondly because I love popcorn.  Wind River is a film that is staying with me, I cannot stop thinking about it.  It’s not because people died at the hands of others in the movie, Lord we see that every single week in a Game of Thrones.  It’s not the death that I cannot shake.  What I haven’t been able to shake is that I now know that the murdering of women is an epidemic in Indigenous communities every where.  Native Canadian and Native American women are murdered at an alarming rate.  And for those who aren’t found murdered, there are thousands more simply missing.

Vanished without a trace.

And nobody cares, nobody is doing anything at all about it.  No governing bodies, no special police task forces are out there trying to find them.

It’s as if they never were.

As a mother I cannot imagine the pain, the anguish, the torment of not knowing where your little girl is.  Even if that little girl is now 30, 35, 40, or older when she goes missing.  A woman is always, and forever somebody’s daughter, missed, and mourned over should she disappear without a trace.

How can it be that they get treated like they never were???

How is this okay with anybody???

For those in government who are in a position of power/authority to change this, I have one question for you:  what if it were your white little girl who simply went missing without a trace, would you be content with no action?  No urgency to find her?  No interest by anybody whatsoever to bring her home?

My guess is that you would not be, I know I surely wouldn’t be, I wouldn’t sleep until I found her.  So why is that it is expected that Indigenous people should care less about their daughters?  Or that they shouldn’t get the same respect from legal governing bodies to ensure they do everything they can to find them??  And finally the question that now weighs heavy on my heart; what can those of us who now know that this is something that is a problem, do to help???

3 Comments

  1. It’s all so infuriating … and emotional … and devastating … and then infuriating again. As per Wendy’s suggestion, I do want to contact the task force and see how successful they have been.

  2. I think it is a question of things having been shut down so long, that people are downright scared of opening them up again. The collective guilt over the treatment of indigenous peoples by the invading settlers has us tongue-tied, paralysed, and flummoxed as to how to procede. Because ‘sorry’ is just so inadequate, money will look like someone is buying forgiveness, and to be honest: where do we start? It won’t be solved overnight, it is going to mean the swallowing of a huge amount of humble pie, but it also needs to be an open door, because if the wounds are left too raw, nothing will change.

  3. A few ideas to answer your question:
    There is a task force in Canada pursuing the missing & murdered Indigenous women (and some men also) find the contact person and ask them what you can do. There may be a similar force in the US on a State level rather than Federal. In Canada, it’s a Federal group. In British Columbia, there is a stretch of highway in the northern area which is called The Highway of Tears. There over many years, many Native women have either been found murdered (and probably raped also) or simply go missing.
    https://www.vice.com/en_ca/article/7bd7wq/highway-of-tears
    Contact this former RCMP officer & ask what to do.

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