FORT BERTHOLD INDIAN RESERVATION, NEW TOWN, N.D. – Olivia Lone Bear, the 32-year-old Indigenous woman that has been missing since late October, is a mother of five. The Lone Bear family’s weeks-long search for their missing daughter continues in the Bakken oil fields.
“The implications surrounding a missing Native woman in the oil fields of the Bakken are serious. With the recent loss of Savanna Lafontaine-Greywind, another Native sister lost in the epidemic of marginalization and invisibility to non-Native, North American community members, we want to bring Olivia home before she becomes another Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women (#MMIW) statistic. We are going to be here until that time.” – Mr. Matthew Lone Bear, Olivia’s brother.
The United States Department of Justice Office on Violence Against Women in a 2014 report to Congress stated,“[R]apid development for oil production in the Bakken region has brought a massive influx of itinerant workers and a sharp increase in crime and law enforcement issues, including sex and human trafficking.”
“What we need right now are volunteers, especially folks with boats with sonar, aerial support via plane, helicopter, or drones, and ATVs/side by sides. We need people on the ground because it’s hard to canvas with just a few. The reservation is over a million acres alone and the Bakken even bigger than that. We’ve had help from multiple volunteers from the Roosevelt County (ND) Sheriff’s Department, Belcourt (ND) Fire and Rescue, along with the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe. We need additional help as soon as possible because the water is going to freeze in the next 1-2 weeks,” Mr. Lone Bear continues.
There is currently a $10,000 reward offered for information leading to the return of Olivia or the conviction of someone who may have harmed her. Law enforcement is stretched thin on the Fort Berthold Reservation resulting in lack of significant investment from investigators. This lack of investment makes opportunities for perpetrators to come onto the reservation, harm Native women, and leave without a trace.
Beginning the last week in October, just after Olivia’s disappearance, the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe began supporting the search and this weekend had 10 highly-trained search and rescue personnel from their Game and Fish Department’s Search Division.
“The Standing Rock Sioux Tribe is committed to the search and rescue of Ms. Olivia Lone Bear of the Mandan Hidatsa Arikara Nation. In addition to our ardent prayers for her safe rescue, I authorized a search and rescue team from Standing Rock last week to participate in the efforts to find Ms. Lone Bear. The communities of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe know the heartache and toil involved in searching for missing loved ones, thus will remain supportive of the effort to bring Ms. Lone Bear home safely to her children and family.” – Mr. Mike Faith, Chairman of the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe.
“Our nation is extremely grateful for our sister nation’s willingness to assist us! It again demonstrates the unity amongst the Northern Plains tribes when a fellow nation is in need. With their help and the help of many others, we will find our loved one!” – MHA Tribal Chairman Mr. Mark Fox.
Hotel rooms are available for those willing to come out and assist with the search.
PRESS CONTACT: MATTHEW LONE BEAR
PRESS CONTACT #: 701-595-3114