UPDATE: A previous version of this article stated Lebeau is a member of the state MMIP task force. She is involved with the task force, but not an appointed member.
(Riverton, WY) – The Missing and Murdered Indigenous Peoples March for Justice is happening on Wednesday, May 5, starting at 4:30 pm. The march will begin at the 789 gas station and end at Riverton’s City Park.
In 2018, a collaborative effort between Letara Lebeau, who is involved with the state MMIP task force, along with local programs, and community volunteers organized the first community march in Riverton for the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women Girls Movement.
Over 150 participants followed the same route and included involvement from city officials, local advocacy programs, and the local police department.
Letara and her colleagues shared they are looking forward to continuing to create and promote awareness for Missing and Murdered Indigenous People representing the Wind River Reservation and surrounding towns.
Additional information about the upcoming Missing and Murdered Indigenous Peoples March for Justice is shared on the flyer below.
Letara also shared the following information:
“The numbers are staggering. Our women and girls are being taken from us in an alarming way. Our women are murdered at a rate 10 times higher than other ethnicities and it is the third leading cause of death for our Women (Centers for Disease Control).
“Most of these murders are committed by non-Native people on Native-owned land. Because of the lack of communication between state, local, and tribal law enforcement, it is difficult to begin the investigation process. These numbers speak for themselves, yet it is surprising to me how few people know about these events.
“We cannot begin to tell you about the violence that our women face. And it is not just on the Reservations – it is down the street, it’s in your urban neighborhood, it’s in homes, it’s everywhere.
“5,712 incidents of missing and murdered Native women in 2016 and 84% of Native women have experienced violence in their lifetime, but it goes deep and has significant value.
“In various tribes, red is known to be the only color spirits see. It is hoped that by wearing red, we can call back the missing spirits of our women and children so we can lay them to rest. May our women and children prosper and be kept safe.“