Indigenous women hold vigil to honor memory of Selena Not Afraid
RAPID CITY, S.D. — Since officials recently confirmed that the body of 16-year-old Selena Not Afraid was found between Hardin and Billings, Montana, Indigenous communities around the Midwest have been holding vigils and memorials to commemorate her memory over the last week.
In Rapid City, I Am Legacy and the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women movement came together to not only honor the memory of Not Afraid, but also the memories of the many missing and indigenous people across the country.
“Selena kinda hit home for us just because we’ve seen a lot of the media articles and things going on like that. So we just kind of thought that it was important to do something.” said Morgan Bringswhite, co-owner I Am Legacy, “Our hearts and thoughts and prayers are with her and her family and her community. But, it’s kind of like the same story within Indian land and indigenous people, it’s kind of a big thing right now.”
I Am Legacy hopes to improve the community through healing and open discussion, and believes the best way to do that is through teaching men to respect women, and women knowing their value.
“One of the main important things for me is uniting with women,” continued Bringswhite, “Standing together and giving our voice because our voices are important and we do need to speak up on a lot of issues, if we bring healing within our communities, it’s mainly going to come from the women, because the women lead.”
I Am Legacy meets at their location in the Rushmore Mall weekly providing services to people of all backgrounds, and hopes to create a legacy in the Black Hills and across the country.