Amber Alerts are messages sent over the radio, internet, television, and text message to notify the public when there is a child abduction emergency. These alerts can be powerful tools to locate a missing child. But right now, the Wind River Reservation doesn’t have that service.
Northern Arapaho and Standing Rock Lakota member Lynette Greybull is the director of Not Our Native Daughters, an organization that works to spread education about missing, exploited, and murdered Indigenous Women and Children.
She said that getting an Amber Alert system for the reservation preemptively would be better than waiting for a child to go missing.
“Usually the reservation doesn’t have a relationship with the statewide Amber Alert initiative. But I would like to see one created for Wyoming. Especially with the Wind River Reservation. And there is no reason why there shouldn’t be an Amber Alert system, and meetings with the tribal law enforcement here and with the statewide initiative of the Amber Alert.”
Greybull has spent 15 years in the anti-human trafficking movement as an educator and advocate.
“When we talk about the exploitation of missing Native women and children it should be something we are all concerned about. Especially here on the Wind River Reservation. And usually in rural areas trafficking happens right beneath our noses and right in our community and we just don’t know what to look for.”
There are no hard statistics on exactly how many Indigenous girls and women go missing every year but the FBI had 633 open cases for them nationwide in 2016.