1:29 PM PDT, May 28, 2021
A 24-year-old Montana indigenous woman named Northern Cheyenne’s youngest councilwoman was brutally attacked, robbed and “left for dead,” according to reports.
Silver Little Eagle is an elected councilwoman of the Northern Cheyenne Tribe, who was a write-in candidate in the 2020 council election and was voted onto the historic all-women slate of elected council members, ABC News reported,
On May 16, police were summoned to the Crowne Plaza Hotel in response to reports of an assault of a woman. When officers arrived, Eagle was taken to a hospital. Family members called her injuries “severe,” ABC reported.
Eagle’s car and other personal belongings were missing as well, Billings Police Department said.
To help with Eagle’s legal and medical expenses, a GoFundMe was created with the initial goal of $8,000. The fundraiser has raised nearly $29,000. However, the GoFundMe campaign noted Eagle has endured “further threats of violence, cyberbullying, defamation of character, and harassment by the assailants and people in her own community,” the Great Falls Tribune reported.
“We are calling for justice and that the perpetrators are prosecuted for this crime. This incident is another painful reminder that Montana has the highest number of cases of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women in the country!” the page said.
Homicide is the third-leading cause of death among American Indian and Alaska Native women aged 10 to 24, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).
Goldstein Little Eagle, who organized Eagle’s GoFundme campaign, said “when this happens to Native women, it should be taken very, very seriously.”
“I’m hoping that her [Silver Little Eagle] story someday will help someone, and when things happen in the future, that they won’t get pushed under the rug.”
Patrick Yawakie, a co-founder of the Montana Missing and Murdered Indigenous Peoples advocacy organization, said there needs to be more funding and support behind the movement to address these incidents sooner and end the crisis. He also said tribal, federal, state and local police need to work together, ABC reported.
The same time Eagle was attacked there was another report of an assault on an unidentified 31-year-old man, according to ABC.
The case is being handled by the Yellowstone County Attorney’s Office, which did not respond to a request for comment on the case.
Silver Little Eagle, who was raised by her grandmother, [Adeline Fox] who had served on the council for 12 years, according to the Western Native Voice.
Eagle is a seventh-generation of Little Wolf and Woodenleg and a descendant of Humpback Woman. She attended Dartmouth College on a Gates scholarship, according to the Western Native Voice.
In 2018, she was selected to be a Native American Youth Leadership Alliance fellow, the Tribune reported.