Last week, Monte Fronk joined Native News Online publisher Levi Rickert on an episode of Native Bidaske to talk about his compelling and, at times, tearful testimony at last month’s Not Invisible Act Commission Hearing in Minneapolis. 

The hearing brought Native family members and survivors impacted by on going Missing and Murdered Indigenous People (MMIP) crisis to testify before the 37-member commission. At the hearing, Fronk testified that May 26, 2021, was the worst day of his life. It was the day that he was informed his daughter, Nada, 24, had been murdered. 

Fronk is a tribal citizen of the Red Lake Nation and a 35-year Tribal public safety responder. He has spent his entire career working for the Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe, one of the 11 federally recognized tribes in Minnesota. 

Fronk recounted his testimony and his unique journey with the MMIW epidemic. 

Never miss Indian Country’s biggest stories and breaking news. Sign up to get our reporting sent straight to your inbox every weekday morning. 

“Those of us who have walked this moccasin path of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Relatives is not always easy to tell what happened and what we lived through with these events,” Fronk told Rickert.

Native American and Alaska Native communities experience high rates of assault, abduction, and murder of women. Overall, more than 1.5 million American Indian and Alaska Native women — or 39.8 percent — have experienced some form of violence in their lifetime, according to a study from the Bureau of Indian Affairs

Fronk also talked about his daughter being a victim of human trafficking and what it was like dealing with social services at times.

 “As my daughter ran, she got into a situation where a social service agency did not want to provide the time and proper case management and basically told a law enforcement agency to let her go because it was Friday,” said Fronk.

“The only thing this non-native social worker saw in my daughter’s case was a native family, and that said everything. It didn’t matter that I was in Tribal Public safety or that I have multiple certifications and a Master’s degree, the only thing this person saw was an indigenous family that wasn’t worth their time.”

Fronk also talked about the role of Indigenous men within the MMIW movement.

“My daughter’s hope was to have been an advocate for Native women who have been human trafficked,” Frank said during the interview. “I was asked by those advocates to take my daughter’s fierce passion and continue to help because we hear those voices of our strong Native women but we do not hear from the fathers. That is a unique role that I would not have thought of until this happened.”

Watch the full episode on our YouTube channel, or view the embedded video below. 

More Stories Like This

Native News Weekly (September 24, 2023): D.C. Briefs
Assemblyman Ramos Honored with Award for Long Service to California Native American Commission
Navajo Nation Council Members Meet with US Treasurer Malerba
Tunica-Biloxi Tribe Chairman Marshall Pierite Launches Bid to Become NCAI President
"The Road to Healing" Albuquerque Stop Postponed Due to Threat of Federal Government Shutdown

Native News is free to read.

We hope you enjoyed the story you've just read. For the past dozen years, we’ve covered the most important news stories that are usually overlooked by other media. From the protests at Standing Rock and the rise of the American Indian Movement (AIM), to the ongoing epidemic of Murdered and Missing Indigenous People (MMIP) and the past-due reckoning related to assimilation, cultural genocide and Indian Boarding Schools.

Our news is free for everyone to read, but it is not free to produce. That’s why we’re asking you to make a donation to help support our efforts. Any contribution — big or small — helps.  Most readers donate between $10 and $25 to help us cover the costs of salaries, travel and maintaining our digital platforms. If you’re in a position to do so, we ask you to consider making a recurring donation of $12 per month to join the Founder's Circle. All donations help us remain a force for change in Indian Country and tell the stories that are so often ignored, erased or overlooked.

Donate to Native News Online today and support independent Indigenous journalism. Thank you. 

About The Author
Kaili Berg
Author: Kaili BergEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Staff Reporter
Kaili Berg (Aleut) is a member of the Alutiiq/Sugpiaq Nation, and a shareholder of Koniag, Inc. She is a staff reporter for Native News Online and Tribal Business News. Berg, who is based in Wisconsin, previously reported for the Ho-Chunk Nation newspaper, Hocak Worak. She went to school originally for nursing, but changed her major after finding her passion in communications at Western Technical College in Lacrosse, Wisconsin.