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Mika Westwolf Matters, Mika Matters, MMIP, MMIR, Missing Murdered Indigenous Women
Mika Westwolf Matters, Mika Matters, MMIP, MMIR, Missing Murdered Indigenous Women
Mika Westwolf Matters, Mika Matters, MMIP, MMIR, Missing Murdered Indigenous Women

Events:

Staged Reading of "You Can't Drink Water" by Kendra Mylnechuk Potter
 

Mika's mother, Carissa will be a guest speaker at the event and the Mika booth will be set up after the reading. Stop by the booth and sign the petition to get Justice for Mika Westwolf.  Every signature matters for this movement!

Share your story of MMIP/MMIR loved ones lost.

Missoula MMIR walk Friday Sept. 8th at 5:30pm

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Visit our booth at the Western Montana Fair in Missoula!

Aug 9-13th

How you can help:

Stop by the booth and sign the petition to get Justice for Mika Westwolf.  Every signature matters for this movement!

Share your story of MMIP/MMIR loved ones lost.

Justice to be Seen:
Awareness Walk to Shed Light on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Relatives and Hit-and-Run Victims #MMIR #MMIW #MMIP

Mika Matters.  We are seeking justice for Mika Westwolf and to demand charges are brought against the white supremacist who committed a hit-and-run against Mika. The perpetrator of the horrendous crimes and Mika's murder walks free.
Mika Matters.  We are seeking justice for Mika Westwolf and to demand charges are brought against the white supremacist who committed a hit-and-run against Mika. The perpetrator of the horrendous crimes and Mika's murder walks free.

Flathead Indian Reservation
June 13th-16th

Schedule:

Tuesday, June 13th to Friday, June 16th, join us for the Justice to be Seen MMIR walk in the following towns, featuring opening ceremonies and ceremonial finishes each day.  Everyone is welcome and encouraged to join!

Day 1 Arlee (June 13th):

  • 9am Arlee Community Center to Mile Marker 20: Approximately 3.3 miles

  • Prayer for Mika at mile marker 20

  • Lunch break just past mile marker 20 (Arlee, MT)

  • Mile Marker 20 to North Valley Creek Rd: Approximately 7.2 miles

Day 2 St. Ignatius (June 14th):

  • 9am Scenic Turnoff Ravalli Hill to Mission Drive: Approximately 3.3 miles

  • Prayer for Meena at IHS

  • Lunch at IHS/Baseball field (St. Ignatius, MT)

  • Bev's Bloomers to Ronan: Approximately 2.8 miles

Day 3 SKC (June 15th):

  • 9am SKC Gym to Memorial Wall: Approximately 0.2 mile

  • Complex to Two Eagle: Approximately 0.5 mile

  • Prayer for Aiden in Pablo

  • Lunch break tentatively at The Peoples Center (Pablo, MT)

  • Two Eagle to Scenic Overlook at the top of Polson: Approximately 5.1 miles

 

Day 4 Polson (June 16th):

  • 9am Polson Safeway to Skate Shop: Approximately 1.2 miles

  • Prayer for Sonia

  • Skate Shop to Courthouse: Approximately 0.9 mile

  • 1pm Arrive at Lake County Courthouse (Polson, MT)

  • Please meet & support Mika Matters at the Courthouse at 1pm if you are not able to walk with us, All Are Welcome!

  • Prayer

  • Opening remarks and speeches by families impacted by MMIP/MMIR

  • Honor song & Healing song

  • Join us and share a meal with the families and supporters at the Riverside Park in Polson after the event.  (We ask that elders are honored by being served meals first)

Mika Westwolf Matters, Mika Matters, MMIP, MMIR, Missing Murdered Indigenous Women

Why We Walk:

The #MikaMatters movement will be hosting an awareness walk across the Flathead Indian Reservation, June 13th-16th, in response to the high rate of fatalities along highway 93. Mika Westwolf was a 21 year Indigenous woman who was tragically killed in a hit and run on Highway 93 on the morning of March 31st. The walk aims to bring attention to recent hit-and-run and death victims along the highway and the flaws in the systemic response to such cases. This walk will shed light on the disproportionately and discriminatively represented or underserved Indigenous families in the aftermath of their missing or murdered relatives. The #MikaMatters movement is part of the broader effort to address the urgent issue of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Relatives (MMIR). Mika Westwolf's case and others serves as a painful reminder of the injustice faced by Indigenous communities and underscores the importance of our collective action to seek justice and bring about meaningful change.

Montana has been witnessing alarming rates of missing and murdered Indigenous people, surpassing national statistics and demographic proportions. Indigenous individuals frequently experience higher rates of disappearance, with cases often remaining unreported and lacking the necessary support from investigators and prosecutors. As families and community members strive to seek justice, they often face a lack of assistance from the responsible entities, exacerbating their challenges. Furthermore, perpetrators of these crimes too often evade prosecution, compounding the injustice. Disturbingly, criminals are not diligently pursued, and those responsible for hit-and-run incidents are often let off without adequate punishment or media attention.

This disparity becomes especially evident when compared to non-Natives. As reported by Judd Legum from the news outlet “Popular Information,” murder is the "third leading cause of death among Native girls & women aged 10 to 24," according to a 2015 report from the CDC. Overall, Native women face a murder rate that is nearly ten times the national average. Last March, the House Subcommittee on Civil Rights and Civil Liberties held a hearing on “The Neglected Epidemic of Missing BIPOC Women and Girls.” A study of nearby Wyoming found that "local and state media covered only 18 percent of cases of Indigenous women murdered in the state between 2000 and 2019." In contrast, 51% of murders of white women received local and state coverage. When Gabby Petito, a young blonde woman, went missing in Wyoming in 2021, her story was "mentioned 398 times on Fox News, 346 times on CNN and 100 times on MSNBC." In the (60) days since Westwolf's death, her name has not been mentioned once on cable news.

It is crucial for the state of Montana and its agencies to take proactive measures to address these disparities, acknowledge their shortcomings, and rectify their due diligence during investigations. Additionally, allocating appropriate funding is essential in tackling these systemic issues. There is a pressing need for the establishment of specialized response teams, along with comprehensive sensitivity training that takes into account the ongoing intergenerational and historical traumas faced by Indigenous families.

Currently, the lack of concern, sympathy, empathy, and understanding towards those who have lost relatives is distressingly evident. This crisis highlights the perpetuation of systemic racism, victim-blaming, gaslighting, belittling, and the overall disregard for the families of the victims. To bring attention to these issues, the awareness walk specifically focuses on recent hit-and-run victims who tragically lost their lives on Highway 93, shedding light on the consistent mishandling of such cases. Shockingly, authorities have repeatedly refused to act, using the excuse that they would not be successful in their prosecution efforts. This bias and lack of commitment from prosecutors and investigators underscore the deep-seated flaws within the system. The relentless reality of witnessing the unwillingness of those responsible to pursue justice unless they are certain of a favorable outcome is an indescribably devastating experience. To live with this ongoing truth is a profound devastation that shakes the very foundation of belief in a just and equitable society.

The #MikaMatters movement invites the community to join us and lend their support as volunteers for various roles, such as shuttle drivers, safety personnel, providing safety equipment and first aid supplies, donating water, and offering any other assistance. We welcome everyone to participate in the walk for any duration, be it one, two, three, or all four days, and even half-day participation is highly appreciated. It is encouraged to wear red during the walk, and red dresses or skirts are also welcomed, along with donations of red dresses to further raise awareness.

Together, let us help heal, support, and amplify the voices of individuals who have been marginalized and traumatized by systemic failures and injustices.  Through collective healing efforts and open dialogue, we aim to raise awareness and create a pathway towards justice. Join us in fostering a safe space for those affected, and demanding a fair and equal future for all, contributing to the journey of being heard and shedding light on these critical issues. Justice to be Seen

Mika Westwolf Matters, Mika Matters, MMIP, MMIR, Missing Murdered Indigenous Women
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