- By Darren Thompson
BILLINGS, Mont. — An 8-year-old girl’s body was found on the Crow Indian Reservation on Thursday, according to a statement by Crow Tribal Chairman Frank White Clay. The girl’s name is Mildred Old Crow and she was last seen in March 2019. Her body was found on Wednesday.
A request to issue a missing and endangered persons advisory for Mildred wasn't received by Montana’s Department of Justice until November 2020.
"Our hearts ache for the family and I lift them up in prayer,” said Crow Tribal Chairman Frank White Clay to KULR-TV on Thursday. “The entire community felt the loss when Mildred went missing and we feel it again today. My hope is that we can find closure, grieve together and work to ensure that children are protected and supported on the Crow Reservation and beyond. We want justice for this child and for all of the victims of the epidemic of people missing from reservations across the country.”
Mildred was last seen while in the care of her Tribal Court-appointed guardian on the Crow Indian Reservation in March 2019, according to a statement from the FBI. Misdemeanor charges of endangering the welfare of a child were filed in tribal court in January 2021 against two women who were given informal custodianship over Mildred in March 2017. They were both charged in February with an additional count of custodial interference, Crow Tribal prosecutor David Sibley told The Billings Gazette on Thursday, Feb. 18.
According to a missing persons report by the Montana Department of Justice, nearly 81 percent of individuals who went missing between 2017 and 2019 were under the age of 18, with Big Horn County having nearly double the number of missing persons than the next highest county per capita. The Crow Indian Reservation’s land base is largely in Big Horn County. The report also indicates that tribal reporting has become more accurate in the last couple of years.
“Montana’s Department of Justice didn’t receive a request to issue a missing and endangered persons advisory for Mildred until November 2020,” said Montana Department of Justice Communications Director Kyler Nerison to Native News Online.
This is a developing story.
More Stories Like ThisWATCH: The White House Tribal Nations Summit
Tribal Leaders to Attend First In-person White House Tribal Nations Summit in Six Years
Tribal Business News Round Up: Nov. 28
Seven U.S. Senators Ask President to Release Leonard Peltier
Native News Weekly (November 27, 2022): D.C. Briefs
You’re reading the first draft of history.
November is Native American Heritage Month in the United States. We feel like every month — and every day — is a reason for celebrating Native Americans and our heritage. That’s what we try to do here at Native News Online, with stories each day that celebrate, inform and uplift American Indian and Alaska Native people. Over the past year or so, we have been especially busy with three important reporting projects that are having an impact across Indian Country:
- Indian Boarding Schools. We’ve reported and published more than 150 stories and special live stream video events to help shine a light on the dark era of boarding schools — and help create momentum for change.
- Native Health Desk. Launched in January, this reporting initiative was created to heighten awareness of Native American health inequities and spotlight pockets of progress in Indian Country. So far we’ve reported and published nearly 120 stories and launched a monthly health newsletter that reaches more than 23,000 readers.
- Native Bidaske. In March, we launched this live stream interview program to highlight the work of Native Americans who are making news and leading change in Indian Country. We have hosted guests from the federal government and Native rights advocates as well as Indigenous actors, comedians, journalists and models.
We hope you will join us in celebrating Native American heritage and history this November and invite you to consider the old adage that “Journalism is the first draft of history.” If you appreciate the voice Native News Online gives to Native American people, we hope you will support our work with a donation so we can build our newsroom and continue to amplify Native voices and Native perspectives.
Any contribution — big or small — helps us remain a force for change in Indian Country and continue telling the stories that are so often ignored, erased or overlooked. Most often, our donors make a one-time gift of $20 or more, while many choose to make a recurring monthly donation of $5 or $10. Whatever you can do, it helps fund our Indigenous-led newsroom and our ability to cover Native news.
Donate to Native News Online today and support independent Indigenous journalism. Thank you.