Tongue River Pow Wow Raises Awareness Of MMIPs

Kevin Koile - Sheridan Media

Members of the Crow Tribe were dancing in Dayton to raise awareness of those no longer among their tribe or other tribes, because of violent crimes.

A Pow Wow was held at Tongue River High School to raise awareness of missing and murdered indigenous persons or M-M-I-P’s.

The US Department of Justice says Native Americans face some of the highest rates of violence in the country, and experience violent crime at higher rates than the national average.

Isabella Yellowtail organized the Pow Wow last year.

She is a member of the Crow Tribe and a junior at Tongue River High School.

She says the idea of a pow wow first came up as a joke, but then turned serious because she has a connection to MMIP’s.

Isabella Yellowtail

“Missing and murdered indigenous people is about raising awareness of people that have not been served justice, have not been listed to, have not been fought for. I realized what I wanted to fight for, losing my older brother Fremon and 5 years ago and my older brother Harold about 10 months ago.”

Yellowtail adds despite the purpose of it, the Pow Wow was not designed to be sad and mournful, like at a funeral.

Rather it was to be entertaining and to preserve the spirits of lost loved ones, in hopes that what happened to them, doesn’t happen to other Native Americans.

Isabella Yellowtail

“You got to have fun, you got to make memories, you got to laugh, you got to gossip, but you always got to keep in the back of your mind why you’re there, why you’re fighting and why you’re dancing, because we dance for the people that don’t get to dance and we fight for the people that didn’t have a voice for themselves.”

Six months ago President Joe Biden signed an executive order aimed at improving public safety and criminal justice for Native Americans and addressing the issue of missing or murdered indigenous people.

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