In June of 2017, 21-year-old Ashley Loring Heavyrunner vanished from the Blackfeet Reservation in Browning, Montana. She took with her the laughter, joy, and brave-as-a-bear courage for which she is lovingly remembered and left behind an oil-stained sweater and a fathomless void full of questions with no answers. With more than four out of five Native women affected by violence (twice the national average) and one in three the victim of rape/attempted rape, unmitigated violence toward indigenous women is a disturbing and multifaceted problem. In this interview with Kimberly Loring, Ashley’s devoted sister and inadvertent champion for the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Peoples (MMIP) movement, Interchange unravels the story behind the complex sovereignty designations that have left this population relatively unprotected and explores the far-reaching impacts of MMIP loss through the eyes and hearts of the broken families left in its wake.
Special thanks to Susan Carstensen, Kirsten & Pat Kainz, Yellowstone Theological Institute, Blackfeet Community, HeavyRunner Loring Family, The Crazy Dog Society.