Last year, I saw the movie, Wind River , which is a fictional story about the murder of an American Indian woman. The movie, which starred Jeremy Renner and Elizabeth Olsen, triggered my emotions, particularly at the end of the film where it details that no one truly knows the number of American Indian women who go missing each year. (Statistically, American Indian women are raped and sexually assaulted at a rate four times the national average and are 10 times as likely to be murdered compared to other Americans—see this Bustle article with those stats.) Indeed, the movie so touched me that I found myself crying in the hallway of the theater.

A recent Atlantic Magazine piece by Sophia Myszowski relates the story of Lissa Yellowbird-Chase, an American Indian and attorney who founded Shanish Scouts, an organization dedicated to searching for missing American Indians. Her work is necessary because of history and federal laws that marginalize the American Indian community; for example, the sovereign nations are prohibited from exercising criminal jurisdiction over nonmembers who commit crimes on sovereign land. In such cases, the FBI or local U.S. Attorney retains jurisdiction, but statistics show that these agencies prosecute less than half the violent crime cases referred to them by tribal authorities.

The burden of pursuing leads about missing American Indian women falls on Yellowbird-Chase and her organization. “Being a neutral party,” Yellowbird-Chase said, “sometimes we can get a little more information out of people. We don’t accept no for an answer, from anybody.” Sometimes this persistence pays off, as in the case of finding a woman’s body inside a truck that was submerged in a sovereign nation area lake.

I can’t help but think that grouping and labeling of American Indians is largely responsible for how society has turned a blind eye to these women (and men) who simply disappear or who are victims of horrific crimes. As Yellowbird-Chase said, “I think every human deserves to be found. Everyone at least needs to be searched for.”

Please get this information about missing American Indian women on your radar—because every human matters. (For more information about the disparities within the American Indian community [which includes a high school graduation rate of only 51 percent], see this MinnPost article .)