PABLO — In January the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribal Council passed CSKT Resolution 19-072 to start a reservation-wide work group to deal with the issue of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls (MMIWG).
Tribal Council directed policy analyst Jami Pluff to facilitate meetings each week during the month of February to gather considerations from the communities on how to tackle the issue. Four meetings were held in Ronan, Elmo, Arlee and Polson with folks signing up to be a part of a continuing MMIWG work group to help develop a work plan and to provide outreach to other tribes and organizations.
Pluff reported to CSKT Tribal Council on Tuesday morning with the MMIWG work group community information that was gathered in each community. Pluff also sought CSKT Tribal Council approval to set the first work group meeting for Tuesday, March 19; and to set the first MMIWG community event for Monday, March 25 at the KwaTaqNuk Resort and Casino, along with agenda and budget (after sponsorships applied) for the kick-off community event to include an invitation letter to be sent out to tribal leaders across the state.
The Tribal Council unanimously passed the MMIWG work group meeting, event and budget on Tuesday. The motion was by Tribal Council St. Ignatius District Rep. Fred Matt and seconded by Dixon District Rep. Anita Matt.
Pluff told council 50 folks so far have committed to working in an ongoing MMIWG work group planning that included CSKT staff and Tribal Council members.
The first official MMIWG work group meeting is set for Tuesday, March 19, at 6 p.m. in the Tribal Council Chambers.
Following the first meeting Pluff explained to the Tribal Council that each meeting will be held in various communities thought the reservation depending on how the work group would choose to schedule.
“It will be up to the work group to determine how often they will meet,” she said.
Pluff explained each community work group will decide what the purpose, vision, and mission statement will be; and develop an action plan from the ideas and activities garnered at the community meetings. The groups will also develop their own timeline for goals, objectives and activities. Pluff also raised the question for Council decision on whether the operation of the MMIWG work groups would stand as community research and planning or suggested if Council approved that the work group could develop into a non-profit organization.
The kick off event for the MMIWG work group will be co-hosted with S&K Gaming. “They had initially planned to have a (sex trafficking) training that was offered at Salish Kootenai College in January since their staff had missed the training,” said Pluff. She met this month with S&K Gaming sales staff to develop the agenda and reach out to sponsors.
The invitation to Montana tribes will request that tribal leaders extend the invitation to staff from hospitality (hotels), casinos, law enforcement and first responders (medical and social work).
“They knew of the community work group and suggested that we plan an event together,” Pluff told Council. Pluff said S & K Gaming had penciled in the date of March 25, since it landed on a day trainers would be available.
Ideas generated from Flathead Reservation community groups in Ronan, Elmo, Arlee and Polson, on the issue of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls.
• Need a protocol
• Make that call (Time is so important) (406) 675-4700
• First 24 hours/first 96 hours
• Jurisdictional Protocol (non-member)
• Incentives – i.e. $1,000.00 Reward for info on cases
• “Buddy System” (even to the restroom)
• “See something, Say something!”
• Text Message Alerts
• Cold case investing
• Casino’s – posters
• Social Media Platforms
• Link to Facebook
• Line to YouTube training
• Technology Alerts
• Weekly Char-Koosta News updates and notice
• Movie “We are Animals”
• Awareness Page
• Cultural Activities with training
• All men’s prayer walk
Tribal Law and Order:
• See Something, Say Something”
• Social Media App
• Jurisdictional Protocol (non-member)
• Checklist for each officer
• Cops cars decoy
• MT DOJ – Sexual Offender
• L&O Presentations (currently being done)
• Increased funding for Law Enforcement
• Law & Order website Info
• Guy Baker Trainings
• Neighborhood Watch
• Prayer Walk
• SKHA Neighborhood watch
• Vigilant Community Members
• Take advantage of close relationships within the community
• See someone’s child – “Don’t be afraid to call in suspicious activity
• Everybody needs to be on the same page
• Positive role models
• Community member’s awareness – Civilian call and report
• Family – Warnings Communications
• Community Events (Potluck, Talking Circles, etc.)
• Training in Schools
• Protecting sisters/brothers
• Visual Understanding
• Training in on MMIW in all communities (schools) w/statistics
• Awareness/Education to non-Tribal schools
• Neighborhood Watch (signs on houses)
• After school programs (funding)
• Men’s health (domestic violence)
• Sensitivity training/education for LGBT community
• Victims Advocate Program
• How do neighborhood search
• Young people are vulnerable “Education on Safety”
• Kat Werner – Human Trafficking Task Force Workshop Training in Schools
• Self Defense
• Family members educated of addiction
• “Enabling” “Tough Love”
• People in recovery as speakers at Presentations
• Facebook Workshop
• Peer mentoring
• Gaming license – Educational modules Sex Trafficking
• Resort Corporation Training
• Training Tribal employees (1,200)
• Beware of surroundings (not the just men and women)
• Marita Growing Thunder
• Educate Non-natives