The Pervasive Tragedy

Montana, January 20 – Around 10:30 a.m., less than a mile from an interstate rest area, the body of 16 year-old Selena Faye Not Afraid was found. According to USA Today, she had been missing since New Year’s Day. The Billings Gazette previously reported that the preliminary autopsy revealed that Not Afraid had died from hypothermia. The state medical examiner also reported that she had no signs of violence or a physical struggle. Not Afraid’s body was also found in an area that had been searched days before then by Big Horn County police and even FBI. 

Not Afraid was looked at as a positive, young girl who loved her family, sports, and animals. It is a tragedy she had to leave so soon. Students at Haskell Indian Nations University express how they feel about the recent tragedy in Montana and the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women (MMIW) movement. 

Josh Garcia, who holds the title of Haskell Brave, suspects some foul play “It is especially sad right now because they found her around the area where she was last seen. Whether the investigators had just missed the spot, or if someone had planted her there afterward, it is still heartbreaking for the family.”  Garcia also voiced his concerns for MMIW, “The issue, in general, is a common problem, not only in today’s world but in the past, as well. Because we are natives and minorities, nobody wants to listen to us. And it has been happening for years, but I’m glad it gets coverage now because we haven’t always had a voice.” 

Justin Rhoades, cross-country runner, voiced his thoughts, “It is very sad. I feel like it is a continuing form of genocide and it is taking away our culture. I send my thoughts and prayers to her [Not Afraid] family, friends, and every single person who knew her.”

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