GREAT FALLS – MTN News has followed the case of Ashley Loring, who went missing on the Blackfeet Reservation in June of 2017, for over a year.
However, we are not the only news organization covering her story in Montana.
Ashley has raised awareness for missing and murdered indigenous women across the country and helped bring the epidemic into the spotlight.
“It feels amazing that Ashley’s name has reached national news,” Kimberly Loring, Ashley’s sister, said.
National Public Radio and other news outlets were in Browning on June 9 for a march in honor of Ashley, also known as Ashley HeavyRunner.
“Everybody should know that Ashley is missing as well as everyone else that is also missing because everyone is important,” Kimberly said.
While some have followed Ashley’s story since the fall of 2017, others are just learning about her disappearance one year later.
Blackfeet/Shoshone filmmakers Ivy and Ivan MacDonald made the documentary “When They Were Here,” which focuses on the issue of missing and murdered indigenous women.
“Finally to have this spotlight on it helps so much,” Ivy MacDonald said. “These women are just seen as statistics so when you actually have people like Ashley’s family and Clarence’s family doing this, it is so important.”
The people who marched for Ashley help give her a voice and help her family keep hope alive.
With Ashley’s name reaching households across the country, she brings missing and murdered indigenous women to the forefront of many people’s minds.
“It has been swept under the rug for way too long and people need to know that this is going on everywhere,” Ivy MacDonald said. “It is a crisis.”