Published March 26, 2019
From March 28th – 31st, 2019, Marita Growing Thunder and supporters will walk 80 miles across the Flathead Indian Reservation to honor Missing Indigenous Woman, Jermain Charlo.
MISSOULA, Mont. — Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG) activist and University of Montana Student, Marita Growing Thunder will be walking 80 miles across the Flathead Indian Reservation, March 28th through the 31st, to honor Jermaine Charlo and all MMIWG.
“We are doing this a third year to walk for Jermain Charlo. We want to continue honoring and bringing awareness to this ongoing crisis. This walk is about physical sacrifice and healing from sexual violence against Indigenous womxn and girls,“ she spells womxn with an “x” to include all women and femmes. Jermain Charlo was 23 years old when she went missing in Missoula, June 2018. Missoula detective, Guy Baker, suspects she may be a victim of human trafficking.
Currently, there are no bills or laws that directly impact MMIWG in the state.
On March 25th, 2019, Hannah’s Act, a bill that would have established a missing person’s specialist within the state Department of Justice to help with the investigation of all missing persons cases, was tabled in a Senate Judiciary Committee 5-5 vote. Even after the removal of a $100,000 appropriation to pay for the position, this was not enough to convince politicians to pass it.
Simultaneously, the same day the bill was tabled, the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribe hosted the first trainings, workshops and community event to address MMIWG in Polson, Montana. In January, the council passed CSKT Resolution 19-072 to start a reservation-wide work group to deal with the issue of MMIWG. Growing Thunder wants to acknowledge that the CSKT has been working hard to help end the crisis with working groups. There is a total of 50 people in the groups that include CSKT staff and Tribal Council members.
ABOUT THE WALK
The walk will begin on the northern border of the Flathead Indian
Reservation in Rollins at 8 a.m. on March 28th, and end on the southern border of the reservation in Evaro around 6:30 p.m. on March 31st. All are invited and encouraged to join her whether it is only for a mile or the whole journey.