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In the five years since the study referenced below, the epidemic of vanishing Native American women has spread across the northern Midwest and Big Sky states of America. Canada's missing Indiginous population has nearly doubled.
“I can’t think of a single person that I know ... who doesn’t have some sort of experience,” says Ivan MacDonald, a member of the Blackfeet Nation and a filmmaker. “These women aren’t just statistics. These are grandma, these are mom. This is an aunt, this is a daughter. This is someone who was loved ... and didn’t get the justice that they so desperately needed.” - AP 6 SEP 2018
Below: A newly erected billboard in Rapid City raises awareness.
While we may be land-locked here in South Dakota, the ongoing research into the forced prostitution and disappearence of members of the Indiginous populations in North America affects all of us and especially our Native American citizens. Human trafficking is horrible enough to begin with, and the relentless assault on the most vulnerable of American populations magnifies the moral, ethical and financial struggles every single one of us faces.
The true cost of these crimes are never fully calculated. Mental Health, policing, increased substance abuse and the medical costs associated with it, and the crisis that the family and the community suffers with each disappearance of a human being weighs on the nation's soul.
As with most transgressions against minorities, the majority turns a blind eye to the affects these sins have on their own fiscal and social well-being, utilizing the easiest and most deplorable of excuses: it is a rare occurrence; it has always been and always be a fact of life; if people lived better, tried harder, were not lazy, not living on handouts, members of "our" community; it would not happen.
The predators need to be revealed before they can be apprehended, and as with those volunteering to act as protectors in the trucking, airline and rail industries, we need the same vigilance by those working in, around and on the water.
Geoffrey S. Jade Barrett, Chairman #SANE60