MMIP Film ‘Say Her Name’ about Big Horn County Opens Wednesday
The short film ‘Say Her Name’ will be available for streaming starting at 5:00 p.m. on Wednesday on You Tube.
Juliet Hayes of the Coushatta Tribe in Louisiana, the presenter for the film that chronicles the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls crisis in Big Horn County, spoke to KGVO News on Wednesday morning.
“Say Her Name is a film that was directed by Rain who is also the director of Somebody's Daughter,” said Hayes. “Somebody’s Daughter was a documentary on missing and murdered Indigenous women and Say Her Name is also about missing and murdered Indigenous women, however, specifically Say Her Name examines cases of missing and murdered indigenous people in Big Horn County, which the documentary says is the epicenter of the MMIWG crisis which is located in Hardin, Montana.”
Hayes said the response from authorities in Big Horn County to the problem of missing and murdered indigenous women and girls was hostile.
“I also went to the Big Horn County Sheriff's Office and tried to speak with a deputy on the matter,” she said. “I also went to the County Attorney's office as well, just trying to get answers, and it was very clear to me that they wanted nothing to do with the film or helping or trying to give us any information that would help us try to understand what's being done about these cases. And frankly, it's because nothing was being done.”
Hayes said just being in Hardin was, in her words, ‘eerie’.
“Just coming into Hardin, all of the interactions that I have with people in that town, there's just a very eerie feeling about the town as a whole,” she said. “I was expecting a little bit of resistance but just the complete lack of urgency and interest, even though I was told that would happen. It's just different I think whenever you interact with these people and they don't even want to look you in the eye or give you any type of information that would help with these cases. So it was very shocking to me.”
Hayes named the three women whose deaths were featured in the film ‘Say Her Name’.
“One of them is Selena Not Afraid the other one is Kaysera Stops Pretty Places, and the third victim is Henny Scott, “ she said. “The county attorney and the sheriff's office don’t want to say that it was murder. They all want to say that they died of exposure, which is a common theme throughout all of these cases in Big Horn County. But all three of these young women were murdered.”
At a recent ceremony in Pablo, the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes along with state and federal officials announced the completion of the nation’s first Tribal Community Response Plan.
As of Thursday, March 25th in the Missing Persons Clearinghouse, there are currently 166 total active missing persons in Montana. Of those 166, 48 are identified as indigenous and that makes up nearly 29%. In addition, of the 48 indigenous 22 are under the age of 21, 27 are female, 21 are male, 14 have been reported as runaways, and 19 have been missing for over one year.
View the trailer here.