BOZEMAN – Take Back the Night, an event sponsored by The Voice Center at Montana State University, focuses on missing and murdered indigenous women, a topic that hits close to home for many in Montana.
Organizers had an art display at Montana State University on Wednesday to raise awareness about the issue and inform people about how they can get involved and take action.
One MSU student said educating students and the community is especially important to her.
“To bring it to the campus where a lot of people, the majority of the students here don’t even know about the reservations here, they don’t even know about the land that they are on. To put this up in their face and say ‘hey this is actually happening, this is not hidden. This could happen to me, this is one of your classmates. I’m not just a minority, I’m a person, I am a Montana resident, I am a student at this university.’ Care, just care,” said Christen Falcon, a member of the Society of American Indian Graduate Students.
Wednesday evening highlights include a survivor speak out, vigil and rally for missing and murdered indigenous women, and a march into downtown Bozeman protesting against sexual violence and the fear that women feel when walking on streets at night.
Society of American Indian Graduate Students member Erika Ross said, “96 percent of missing and murdered indigenous cases, the perpetrator is a non-native white man, and so this is my community that is responsible for this, this is our community and we have to hold our community responsible to make good changes.”
Take Back the Night wraps up with a celebration in honor of survivors and the progress that has been made toward reducing sexual violence.
Reporting by Emma Hamilton for MTN News