Walk held in Lame Deer to honor Henny Scott, raise awareness for MMIW

Henny Scott's family led the march in Lame Deer from the Northern Cheyenne Bureau of Indian Affairs to the tribal building to honor Henny and missing and murdered indigenous women. 

The Northern Cheyenne community gathered at the Northern Cheyenne Bureau of Indian Affairs at noon on Wednesday to honor Henny Scott, and to raise awareness for Montana's missing and murdered indigenous women. 

They dressed in all red to honor those missing and murdered indigenous women. Those who gathered marched from the BIA to the tribal building to make their voices heard about MMIW. 

Their message was loud and clear. It's time to raise awareness and it's time for change for missing and murdered indigenous women.

"This has been a problem for decades you know and people have been silent too long and we're done being silent now we need to speak out about what's going on with our people," said marcher Dean Wallowing Bull. 

Many of the marchers carried signs reading "Henny Strong," or "Justice for Henny." Today would have been Henny Scott's 15th birthday.

Henny's mother, Paula Castro-Stops said, "It's upsetting that it had to be her but she's opening a lot of people's eyes and she didn't go quietly. You know maybe nobody heard her out there, but they're hearing her now. So, yeah it's awesome. She, if you met her you'd love her and what everybody's doing is just how she was."

Attendees of the walk say this has been a problem for decades on the reservation. Now it is time to no longer be quiet and finally speak up.

"When one of our own go missing on the reservation tribal members that go missing you hear crickets, and sometimes even the crickets don't even make noise and its frustrating," said Northern Cheyenne Tribal Council Member, Phillip Beckman. 

According to the Urban Indian Health Institute, there were 506 cases of missing and murdered indigenous women and girls in 71 cities in 2016. 

128 of those were missing persons cases, 280 were murder cases, and 98 had an unknown status. 

The median age of these missing and murdered indigenous women and girls according to the institute is 29-years-old. 

Attached to this article is the full report from the Urban Indian Health Institute. 

Henny's mother Paula Castro-Stops, says the support she's received has shown her how many people her daughter touched, and she hopes their story can lead to change.

In 2013, 21-year-old Hanna Harris was killed and found in Lame Deer. 14-year-old Henny Scott was found in December just miles away from where Harris was found. 

"I mean this is the second time this has happened within on our reservation here and now the community is coming together to try to work together on this issue because we don't want it to keep happening," said Meredith McConnell. "We need to come together and provide education and awareness not only to our young people, but to the parents, to our community."

The march on Wednesday sent the message now is the time to raise awareness for this issue in Montana. 

"I hope to achieve more awareness from our community, and our officials in Washington D.C., and the people that make laws in the reservation," said Dean Wallowing Bull. 

Senator Tester demands answers from law enforcement agencies on the delayed response to the disappearance of 14-year-old Henny Scott.

Scott was found dead on Crow Agency last month.

Senator Tester wrote a letter to the FBI seeking answers to questions of what went wrong in their search for Scott.

The BIA reported Scott missing on December 13th, but the information wasn't public until December 26th.

Tester is also questioning the FBI and BIA's coordinated search efforts and what actions took place when they first learned of the teen's disappearance.

In a statement Tester says in part: "There are still many unanswered questions surrounding the circumstances of Henny's death, but it has become clear that the initial law enforcement response was unacceptable."

Members of the Northern Cheyenne community are asking for justice for Scott and missing indigenous woman.

Scott's grandmother Rynalea Whiteman is pleading for answers.

"So there's got to be justice, all the way around. No matter what it is, with the missing and murdered indigenous women. That's something that has plagued our reservations all over," said Whiteman. "Not just Indian country both in the United States and Canada. We're dealing with these at an alarming rate that there's got to be something done."

KULR-8 reached out to the Bureau of Indian Affairs for the Northern Cheyenne and Crow tribes.

They referred us to the National BIA office in Washington, D.C. A spokesperson for the Department of Interior said they cannot comment at this time due to the government shutdown.

In addition, Senator Daines is also seeking for answers on the disappearances and murders of native american women.

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