LARAMIE – Keepers of the Fire, the oldest and only active recognized student organization on campus at the University of Wyoming, is sponsoring the March for Justice, highlighting the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls Awareness Event that is taking place at 10 a.m. Friday, April 26, at the University of Wyoming.

Taryn Jim and Christie Wildcat organized the event. The march begins at 10 a.m. in front of the Union/Simpson’s Plaza at the University of Wyoming.

After the march, lunch, and presentations by guest speakers will be held at 12:30 p.m. at Washakie Dining Center.

At 2 p.m., Governor Mark Gordon is scheduled for the signing of the proclamation to declare May 5, 2019, as Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls Day for the entire state of Wyoming.

Affie Ellis (Navajo) is a State Senator representing southwest Laramie County, is a featured speaker at 1:45 p.m. She is the first native woman to be elected to the Wyoming Legislature and first Native to serve in the Wyoming Senate.

After graduating from the UW with degrees in Political Science and American Indian Studies, she worked for U.S. Senator Craig. She also worked as the Director of Congressional and Public Affairs for NIGC.

Ellis left Washington to attend law school at the CU. Upon graduating and moving to Cheyenne, Ellis served as an Assistant Attorney General for the Wyoming Attorney General’s Office. Ellis was tapped to serve on the national Indian Law and Order Commission created by the Tribal Law and Order Act of 2010 and has advocated for reforms outlined in the 2014 report, “Roadmap for Making Native America Safer.”

Ellis later ran her own consulting company before returning to the practice of law. As an attorney with Holland & Hart, Ellis has worked with the Wyoming Bar Association to establish a Federal Indian Law and Tribal Law Section, of which she chairs. She has also been involved in federal Indian law and policy throughout her career.

As a member of the Wyoming Legislature, Ellis serves on the Select Committee on Tribal Relations and has worked on measures to establish Native American studies in K-12 curriculum; to protect and repatriate American Indian archaeological human remains found on state/private lands; and to allow language courses in Eastern Shoshone and Northern Arapaho to satisfy Hathaway Scholarship.

Speaking at 1:30 p.m., Lynnette Grey Bull has been serving Tribal Nations for over 10 years. Grey Bull is the Founder/Director of Not Our Native Daughters, she served as Chair of the Arizona Commission of Indian Affairs at the Governor’s office in 2015 -2016 and served in the Arizona Governor’s Human Trafficking Task Force 2013 – 2016.

Grey Bull has presented a Congressional Briefing on Tribal Youth Suicide in 2016 for the American Psychological Association on Capitol Hill and provided statistics and research on the missing and exploited Native Women and Children for the United Nations World Conference on Indigenous Peoples in 2017.

Not Our Native Daughters has educated over 40 tribes, 7000 participants, on the rise of Human Trafficking in Indian Country and plays a huge role in the Missing Murdered Indigenous Movement.

Jazmine Wildcat, the first speaker at 12:45 p.m., is a sophomore at Riverton High School and has been featured in the Homegirl Project and Teen Vogue for her work advocating for gun control, and she was a speaker at the 2018 Teen Vogue Summit in New York.

As a 2017-2018 United National Indian Tribal Youth Earth Ambassador, a 2018-2019 UNITY 25 under 25 recipient, WeRNative Ambassador, and Generation Indigenous Ambassador, she utilizes those national platforms to speak about ”the many issues that are important to her including bringing awareness of violence against our Native women and the need to protect our Indigenous sisters from becoming a statistic.”

Her journey to advocate for Native women began in 2013 when she organized a rally for the passage of the Violence Against Women Act. As the 2018 outgoing Northern Arapaho Powwow Princess, she held a special to bring awareness of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls.

Making her presentation at 1 p.m., Avis Garcia, Ph.D., L.P.C. L.A.T. (Northern Arapaho and the Eastern Shoshone) has earned a doctorate in counselor education and supervision at the University of Wyoming and is also a Licensed Professional Counselor, and Licensed Addictions Therapist.

For 18 years she has been a mental health provider in the treatment of Native American youth and families. She is also an advocate of education in Indian Country, a resource provider for promoting cultural enhancement of evidence-based practices and practice-based evidence of treatment approaches for Native American children and their families exposed to trauma.

Garcia is knowledgeable about the concerns of implementation and adaptation of evidence-based practices being introduced into Indian country.

Contact Taryn Jim at tjim@uwyo.edu or Christie Wildcat at cwildcat1@uwyo.edu for more information.