This is a simple process with the help of a BCC volunteers and members of BLES.
Do you know where your loved one is? Do you know if they're safe? If not, they should be considered a missing person and reported immediately to law enforcement. The first thing you should do is CALL 911.
Fears of Reporting
“This website is for families who don't know how to report a missing person and want someone to help them through the process." Tina Chamberlain, Montana LINC Coordinator
Every day, someone goes missing in tribal communities across the nation. The same is true in Montana. Awareness for MMIW has increased over the past several years but there are few tools to help families report to law enforcement and be supported through the process. This website and volunteers from Blackfeet Community College (the LINC Team) are here to help.
Jason Small, Montana State Senator (Northern Cheyenne) and Chair of the State-Tribal Relations Interim Committee, proposed a missing persons task force to help Native American families report, track, and find their loved ones. Senate Bill 312 passed during the 2019 Montana legislative senate and created the Montana Missing Indigenous Persons Task Force. The Bill also created the Looping in Native Communities (LINC) grant program. The grant of $25,000 from the Montana Department of Justice will help project volunteers at Blackfeet Community College develop this website as a way for families to safely begin the process of reporting a missing person.
“The first online reporting portal for Montana Native Americans...”
Senator Small wanted a way for families and friends to start the reporting process for a missing loved one, even if they didn't want to report directly to law enforcement. Sometimes it's not easy to ask law enforcement for help even when it's for a family member or friend. This website allows people to begin the process by completing a Missing Person Contact Information Form. This form contains essential information needed to begin the search for a missing person. Once the form is submitted, an automatic alert is sent to Blackfeet Law Enforcement Services and to the LINC Team. Law enforcement will reach out to the reporting party for more information. The LINC Team will provide support to those reporting and help them understand the process and what happens next.
The website also allows for tracking the number of missing Indigenous persons in Native communities. By having an understanding of who is missing, we will have data that supports the need for additional resources. We will also create a community that supports families of missing people. And hopefully bring loved ones home quickly.