Somebody’s Daughter #MMIW #MMIWP #MMIWG: Say Her Name
New Documentary Film Say Her Name Premieres May 5 To Get Authorities And Media To Investigate Nearly 50 Unsolved And Ignored Cases Of Missing And Murdered Indigenous People In Montana
Drugs And Trafficking Blamed – Debuts May 5th In Recognition Of Missing And Murdered Indigenous Women (MMIW) Awareness Day – President Biden Supports ‘Unconscionable’ Issue
Tuesday, May 4, 2021

The following is the text of a press release from the team behind the Say Her Name project.

BIGHORN COUNTY, Montana — Say Her Name, a new documentary film, premieres Wednesday, May 5 on “Missing And Murdered Indigenous Women (MMIW) Awareness Day.”

The film was produced to bring awareness of the 86% of Montana’s Missing and Murdered Indigenous People’s cases that remain unsolved. They are also being ignored by local authorities and not getting the media attention they deserve. The film is directed by Rain who served on President Joe Biden’s Indigenous Policy Committee and recently made recommendations for the President and Vice President Harris on the MMIW crisis.

Say Her Name will be available online, free of charge. The trailer can be viewed here: youtu.be/psUA5jCuOgg.

Say Her Name indicates that some of the murders are due to the connection of the methamphetamine trade and human trafficking that is rampant in the region, conducted beneath the dark cape of organized crime. The film explores if it is incompetence or corruption at the heart of regional law enforcement’s silence and ineptitude.

President Biden has said of the MMIW crisis, “What’s happening to Indigenous women on reservations and across the United States is unconscionable and outrageous. And it is devastating that families are conducting their own searches for missing loved ones. It must end.”

President Biden’s statement epitomizes what Say Her Name exposes in Bighorn County, Montana, the epicenter of the MMIW crisis in the United States. Hardin, Montana, the county seat of Bighorn County, has a population of approximately 3,500. Bighorn County has nearly 50 documented Missing and Murdered Indigenous People’s cases – 27 women and girls and approximately 20 men and boys.

“Law enforcement and the Bighorn County Attorney were provided with multiple opportunities to comment and share their perspectives in Say Her Name. They declined,” said Rain.

Most of the perpetrators of these crimes have yet to be apprehended and brought to justice. Because of the remote location, most cases remain unsolved as the country’s national media isn’t focused there though there are an estimated 240-plus more victims and likely many others due to underreporting.

Personified by the tragic case of Crow and Northern Cheyenne Tribal Community Teenager, named Kaysera Stops Pretty Places, the situation in Bighorn County cries out for United States Attorney General Merrick Garland to launch an investigation.

Somebody’s Daughter: The Trailer

In 2020 alone, 5,600 Native American women were reported missing, according to the FBI’s National Crime Information database. That exceeds U.S. fatalities in the entire Iraq War.

“The victim’s families don’t have any opportunity to bring their loved ones back. At the very least they are owed to be treated with dignity and have thorough and transparent investigations. Shamefully, that does not appear to be happening,” says Rain.

Say Her Name will be premiered during Native News Online’s MMIW Forum on May 5, MMIW Awareness Day. United States Interior Secretary Haaland is scheduled to contribute to the Forum.

The film is hosted by Coushatta Tribal Member Juliet Hayes, the first indigenous woman to present a documentary film on the MMIW crisis. The Coushatta Tribe of Louisiana is the executive producer of Say Her Name.

Hayes said, “The MMIW crisis is gut-wrenching. It’s sickening to me the way the lives of Indigenous women and girls are undervalued as if we don’t matter. My impression of law enforcement while shooting Say Her Name was a complete lack of urgency. There’s a common theme within MMIW cases: law enforcement doesn’t care, they give excuses as to why they can’t do their jobs, and they leave families to do their own investigations when their job is supposed to be to ‘serve and protect.’”

An updated, extended cut of Rain’s groundbreaking MMIW/MMIP documentary, Somebody’s Daughter, premieres this summer and features a contribution from President Joe Biden who continues to emphasize his commitment to ending the MMIW crisis.

The Coushatta Tribe of Louisiana is the executive producer of both films and has taken one of the most proactive stances on addressing the MMIW/MMIP tragedy in the US.