On Tuesday, February 12, 2019, the Missoula Democrats hosted a program about a feature length documentary called, "When They Were Here," regarding the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG) crisis. The producers, Ivan and Ivy MacDonald, are Blackfeet and Shoshone filmmakers enrolled in the Blackfeet tribe. They have spent over a year documenting this crisis. The documentary shares many personal stories about families affected, including how Ivan and Ivy's "cousin, 7-year-old Monica Still Smoking, was found frozen on a mountain on the Blackfeet Reservation in 1979." Reporter Patrick Reilly from the Missoulian ran a story about the evening.
American Indians are 2.5 times more likely to be victims of violent crimes—and at least twice as likely to be raped or sexually assaulted—compared to all other races. It is time to take action!
Here are three actions you can take to help:
- Contribute to the completion of the documentary at whentheywerehere.com
- Support MMIWG legislation in the Montana state legislature. Specifically, Hanna's Act, HB 21 and a related bill HB 54, which would improve law enforcement action on missing persons. Contact your state legislators by calling (406) 444-4800 or sending an online message
- Support MMIWG legislation in Congress. Click here for some background information from Sen. Tester's office.
Senator Tester is supporting the reintroduction of Savanna’s Act (S.227), which would improve information sharing between tribal, state, and federal law enforcement agencies and tracking crimes against Native Americans. He is also supporting the reintroduction of the SURVIVE Act (S. 211), which would provide critical funding to Indian victims of crime. He has also introduced his own bill to direct the Government Accountability Office to study current federal agency response protocols for missing Indigenous people and recommend solutions to address this crisis.
Thank you to Roberta Crane for organizing the program, Karen Wickersham for publicizing the event, and many other Missoula Democrats who lent a hand. For more information, please email us at [email protected].
Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women Crisis – Resolution Passed
This week, the Missoula County Democratic Party Central Committee approved and issued a Resolution calling for concerted action to address the crisis of missing and murdered indigenous women.
An alarming number of Indigenous women and girls in Montana disappear, are murdered, or are the victims of violent crime each year. These cases are often unreported, or underreported and this crisis has been brought to light recently by a short film by Bozeman, Montana filmmakers Ivan and Ivy MacDonald. Missoula County includes a portion of the Confederated Salish & Kootenai Tribes reservation, while the Missoula Valley, where most of the people of Missoula County live, is located near the center of Séliš (Salish), Ksanka (Kootenai), and Ql̓ispé (upper Kalispel or Pend d’Oreille) homelands. For thousands of years, it has always been, and remains today, a place of the highest importance to them, and to the many other Indigenous people who traversed and visited the region, including the lower Kalispel, Spokane, Coeur d’Alene, Nez Perce, Blackfeet, and Shoshone, and is today the home of citizens and descendants of those Nations, and other Indigenous people.
We must protect our people. The Missoula County Democrats urge our law enforcement agencies and legislators to do their part in keeping Indigenous woman and girls safe in our communities by passing key legislature, establishing expert panels, and improve operational systems and policies to address this crisis.
The full resolution can be found here: https://d3n8a8pro7vhmx.cloudfront.net/missoulademocrats/pages/136/attachments/original/1547152080/MMIW_Resolution_Signed_010919.pdf?1547152080
For further information, please contact the Missoula County Democrats at (406) 493-0131 or [email protected]
At the Missoula Democrats' County Convention on Tuesday, May 9th the Missoula Democratic Central Committee will consider several bylaw changes. These changes expand participation on the Executive Committee (AKA the Eboard) by adding new officers and letting partner organizations designate a representative. it also changes to process for scheduling programs and eliminates secret ballots.
If you have any questions about the changes, please contact Charley Carpenter at [email protected]
On Tuesday, May 9th, 7 pm at the Missoula Democrats County Convention, the Central Committee will elect its officers for the next two years. Below are the candidates who have submitted an questionnaire about their candidacy. Click on their names to download their answers. Additional candidates may be nominated the night of the meeting.
May 9th update: Sydney Sweitzer and Dave Severson have withdrawn as candidates for the officers election.Read more
Welcome to the new website for Missoula Democrats!
We're happy to offer updated content from the previous website, plus new tools that will give us more ways to organize.
It was a group effort to build this website. Precinct Commiteewomen for Target Range 97, Stacy Hunt and her colleagues Tim Gunderson and Megan Emjsh provided great support upfront and solved several technical problems.
Danny and Bracha Tanenbaum who are brand new to the Missoula Dems, stepped up and got the website over the finish line using their wealth of experience with web design.
Bob Jaffe with Cedar Mountain Software, which hosted the previous website, has donated his time and resources over many years. He made the transition the new website seamless.
Thank you all!
Please let us know what think and how we can improve the website's usefulness to you and others. We have a ton of learning to do. You can send me an email at [email protected]
Here's to a great new tool for Missoula Democrats! -Dave Kendall, Chairperson