The Blackfeet Nation will host the country’s first-ever murdered and missing Indigenous women (MMIW) tribunal on October 4 and 5. Per the statement released on Tuesday (September 24), the two-day event will be held in Browning, Montana, and it will feature public testimony from MMIW survivors and family members.
“We welcome witnesses from the Four Directions to attend and share their experiences. This is not just a Blackfeet or Montana tribes’ tragedy, it is an Indian Country tragedy, and a national and international disgrace,” Blackfeet Nation chair Tim Davis said in the announcement. “This is a multi-generational epidemic the federal government has done nothing to address—even less than the Canadian government—which was found to be complicit in ‘deliberate race, identity and gender-based genocide’ by its own National Inquiry into MMIW.” Per the tribunal website, “In 2016 alone, 5,712 Native women were reported missing of murdered. Now we have lost count.”
The Blackfeet Nation (Amskapi Pikuni) is part of the Blackfeet Confederacy, which also includes the Piikani, Blood and Siksika tribes of Canada. “We are not divided by the border, we are united in our grief,” Davis said. “Many women and children stolen from our communities are trafficked back and forth between the US and Canada.”
The Blackfeet Nation will also invite members of Congress, the Democratic presidential candidates and members of the Trump administration to the tribunal; all responses to invitations will be posted on the website “for full transparency.”