A new effort to help locate and identify missing and murdered indigenous persons is now being launched in Montana. A live virtual concert is also set for Saturday, November 7 to mark the launch of the "Missing Indigenous Persons reporting portal."

According to a press release from the Blackfeet Community College, working in conjunction with Montana's Missing Indigenous Person Task Force:

The website allows families and friends to complete a Contact Information Form about the missing person online. In the past, missing persons’ loved ones have expressed reluctance to report missing individuals directly to law enforcement. The BCC reporting system will serve as the go-between for those reporting and all levels of law enforcement. Once the form is submitted on the website, an automatic notice will be sent to local tribal law enforcement. All data collected through the website will be shared with appropriate law enforcement entities including tribal, county, state, and federal.

According to the BCC press release, "the initial rollout of the website will be within the Browning area with remaining tribal communities in Montana to be added to the network within the next year."

Check out the website at www.mmipmt.com.

The Blackfeet Community College landed a $25,000 grant from the Montana Department of Justice, but it was thanks to AT&T for providing the matching $25,000 donation that brought the project to fruition.

Tara Thue, president for AT&T Mountain West States, says she was honored to announce the contribution to work to bring an end to the "horrifying pattern" of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women (MMIW):

It is important that we are all deepening the conversation and bringing attention to the crisis of missing and murdered indigenous persons affecting tribes and Native communities in Montana.

State Senator and Northern Cheyenne tribal member Jason Small (R-Busby) was the main sponsor of the "Looping in Native Communities Act" (LINC).

 

LINC has been one of those bills which will have a long-lasting impact on many communities. I appreciate the willingness of people to participate on the task force in which LINC created and would also like to express my gratitude towards the good people at AT&T for the financial support to help make the database happen. This is a large step in the right direction.”