MISSOULA — Following Canada’s lead, Feb. 14 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 Selena Not Afraid of Hardin was found dead in Big Horn County. Meanwhile, Jermain Charlo, the 24-year-old Native American woman who disappeared near the Orange Street Food Farm in Missoula 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. Advocates hope this proclamation will spur awareness in Montana.
"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, and too, we just want those same resources and timeline that everyone else gets and not just rely on Facebook shares and messages," Missoula resident Amber Shaffer said.