Tribal Members Share Their MMIP Connections During Virtual Screening of Silent No More

By Lisa Pemberton, Puyallup Tribal News Editor

On May 12, Child Advocacy Center Program Manager Laura Bluehorse-Swift hosted a film screening and panel discussion of “Silent No More.”

The event was held as an online webinar to follow social distance guidelines, and featured a discussion about Missing and Murdered Indigenous People (MMIP), including cases that are connected to Puyallup Tribal families.

Panelists included Carolyn DeFord, the Tribe’s Human Trafficking Project Coordinator; Donna Torres, the Tribe’s Victim Advocate and Case Manager; Lisa Earl, the Tribe’s Youth Center Director who talked about her late daughter’s murder and the “Justice for Jackie” movement; and Erik Gray and Jeri Moomaw, who are with Innovations Human Trafficking, which provides direct outreach to Native American trafficking survivors. 

The documentary was created by White Bison, Inc., and the Wellbriety Movement. It includes interviews with families of missing and murdered Native women in Pine Ridge, South Dakota, and Lame Dear, Montana.

A poster for DeFord’s mom, Leona Kinsey, who went missing in October 1999, is featured in the film.

DeFord said traditional cultural practices are some of the best ways to prevent and treat families who are affected by MMIP.

“It’s like a fire, once you light that spark, it takes off,” she said.

Bluehorse-Swift said she plans to offer screenings for “Blood Memory” with a panel discussion about neuroscience of trauma and “I am Little Red” which is an animated prevention film aimed at children who are most at-risk for sex trafficking, such as tribal kids, runaways, LGBTQ, homeless and adopted and foster children.

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Photo courtesy of Tribal Council member Annette Bryan