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Montana National Organization for Women is proud to endorse and urges action for HR219 Montana Indigenous People's Day and ending violence against indigenous women and girls, through HR21, 54 and 312. As a central part of our mission, NOW condemns the racism that inflicts a double burden of race and gender discrimination on women of color and Indigenous women. Seeing Human Rights as indivisible, we are committed to identifying and fighting against those barriers to equality and justice. HB219, “An Act Revising Legal Holidays in Montana,” will establish Indigenous People Day replacing Columbus Day on the second Monday in October, committing the people of Montana to heal and educate around human dignity, respect and equality for all.

In addition to HB219, legislators can deepen Montana’s commitment to the dignity and worth of each person, especially those most vulnerable, missing and murdered indigenous women. With the passage of HR21, 54 and 312, essential pieces of legislation focused on Montana’s growing epidemic of violence against Indigenous women and girls, by strengthening “Laws Related to Missing Persons Reports.” According to your article on March 3, “Indigenous people and Native Women in particular — go missing at a vastly disproportional rate than the general population (6.7 percent of general population but 26 percent of reported missing).”

Call the Montana Legislature (406-444-4800) to express our support for Legislation contained in HB219, 21, 54 and 312, which recognize and communicate the respect for and contributions of Indigenous Peoples!

Jan Strout

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president, Montana NOW

Bozeman

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