14 days of action planned in honor of Kaysera Stops Pretty Places

Thursday, August 20, 2020
14 days of action planned in honor of Kaysera Stops Pretty Places
Photo courtesy of the Grace Bulltail
Kaysera Stops Pretty Places was found five days after she went missing on Aug. 24, 2019. Her case as stalled, the family is planning 14 days of action to honor her memory and demand justice.

The family of Kaysera Stops Pretty Places are planning 14 days of action in honor of teen, who went missing in late August 2019 and was found dead in Hardin on five days later.

On August 24, 2019, Stops Pretty Places went missing in a suburban neighborhood of Hardin, less than a half mile off of the Crow Reservation. Her body was found near the intersection of Mitchell Avenue and Rangeview Drive, the same neighborhood where she was last seen alive, on the morning of August 29.

The family, together with Sovereign Bodies Institute, the National Indigenous Women's Resource Center, and attorneys at Pipestem Law, P.C., are inviting fellow survivors, tribal leaders, advocates, non-Indian allies, and anyone who agrees that the lives of Native women and girls are to be valued, to join them in a series of events starting on Aug. 24, the day the teen went missing, and ending on Sept. 11 , the day that the Big Horn County Sheriff's Office finally notified the family they had found Stops Pretty Places' body.

Every day, from Aug. 24 to Sept. 11, will feature an event, webinar, or letter-wr iting campaign designed to honor Stops Pretty Places memory and to demand justice for her and her family from Jaw enforcement agencies that, so far, have been complacent in their failure to investigate her murder, the teen's aunt Grace Bulltail said in a press release.

"Sovereign Bodies Institute stands in solidarity with Kaysera's family in their demand for justice," states Annita Lucchesi, Executive Director of the Sovereign Bodies Institute. "Big Horn County and the State of Montana have a long track record of ignoring the murders of Native women and people, and they won't charge their policies and protocols unless the public demands that we do so. Now is not the time to remain silent."

Hardin High School student, Stops Pretty Places, played basketball and football, ran cross country, and performed in several school theater productions. She h ad dreams of becoming an actress and a performer, Bulltail said.

"She had a lot to look forward to," she added.

A year ago on Aug. 14, she celebrated her 18th birthday.

According to the press release, law enforcement did not inform the family that Stops Pretty Place's body had been found until on September 11, almost two weeks later.

"Shame on local and federal law enforcement for doing nothing," states the family's attorney Mary Kathryn Nagle, Pipestem Law. "It has been a year. Evidence has been ignored. Suspects have been allowed to walk free, unquestioned. Search warrants have not been executed. This is inexcusable. It is time to let the Montana Department of Justice, FBI, and the Big Horn County Sheriff's Office know that we hold them accountable. From August 24 to September 11, we will be asking individuals to join us in writing to public officials and law enforcement. Please join us in demanding justice for Kaysera and her family."

Since September 11, 2019, the press release continues, the family has worked diligently to collect and share evidence regarding Stops Pretty Places' murder and the suspicious circumstances surrounding her tragic death.

"The absence of accountability at state and federal law enforcement agencies has forced our families to search for and investigate the crimes when our Native women and girls are murdered or go missing," states Elizabeth Carr, Senior Policy Analyst at the National Indigenous Women's Resource Center. "Native families should not have to do law enforcement's job. The National Indigenous Women 's Resource Center stands with Kaysera's family in their demand for justice."

According to the press release, the family has shared significant evidence and tips with the FBI, the Big Horn County Sheriff's Office, and the Montana Department of Justice. So far, all three of these agencies have done absolutely nothing.

"We have been ignored," said Bulltail. "We have written letters, requested meetings, made phone calls, provided witness statements - we have done all that we can possibly imagine to convince law enforcement to investigate the murder of my niece. On this day that should have been her 19th birthday, my family is asking for the support of our friends and allies across Indian Country, and all of the United States, to stand with us and demand justice for Kaysera."


Schedule of Events

More information about the events from Aug. 24 to Sept. 11 is available and will be continuously updated, on the #JusticeForKaysera Facebook page.

Aug. 24: A vigil will held by the family in Hardin at Mitchell Avenue and Rangeview Drive at 6 p.m. MST. All are welcome, but if you attend in person please wear a mask and observe social distancing.  

NIWRC will host a Twitter Storm at 3 p.m. EST/1 p.m. MST.

Aug. 25: The family will host a webinar to provide background and updates on Kaysera’s case, featuring Grace Bulltail and Mary Kathryn Nagle at 11 a.m. MST.

Aug. 26: The family will host a webinar on MMIW in Media, featuring journalists Connie Walker and Luella Brien at 11 a.m. MST.

Aug. 27: The family will host a webinar on Extractive Industries and Violence against Indigenous Women, featuring Kandi Mossett White of Indigenous Environmental Network at 11 a.m. MST.

Aug. 28: The family will host a webinar discussing MMIW Policy and Advocacy in Big Horn County, featuring SBI’s Annita Lucchesi, at 11 a.m. MST.

Aug. 29: Memorial and Closing Prayer with the family in Hardin at Mitchell Avenue and Rangeview Drive at 9 a.m. MST. All are welcome, but if you attend in person please wear a mask and observe social distancing.  

Aug. 30: Advocates are invited to send a letter to Big Horn County Sheriff Lawrence Big Hair, draft letter will be posted on Aug. 24 at http://www.pipestemlaw.com/kaysera-stops-pretty-places/

Aug. 31: Advocates are invited to send a letter to Terry Bullis, owner of the Bullis Mortuary, draft letter will be posted on Aug. 24 at http://www.pipestemlaw.com/kaysera-stops-pretty-places/

Sept. 1: NIWRC will host Twitter storm for #JusticeforKaysera at 3 p.m. EST/1 p.m. MST

Sept. 2: Advocates are invited to send a letter to the FBI, draft letter will be posted on Aug. 24 at http://www.pipestemlaw.com/kaysera-stops-pretty-places/

Sept. 3: Advocates are invited to send a letter to Operation Lady Justice Task Force, draft letter will be posted on Aug. 24 at http://www.pipestemlaw.com/kaysera-stops-pretty-places/

Sept. 4: Advocates are invited to send a letter to Attorney General Tim Fox, draft letter will be posted on Aug. 24 at http://www.pipestemlaw.com/kaysera-stops-pretty-places/

Sept. 5: SBI hosts webinar on MMIWG issues featuring Annita Lucchesi, Grace Bulltail and other advocates and survivors.

Sept. 6: Advocates are invited to send a letter to Senator Tester, draft letter will be posted on Aug. 24 at http://www.pipestemlaw.com/kaysera-stops-pretty-places/

Sept. 7: Advocates are invited to send a letter to Senator Daines, draft letter will be posted on Aug. 24 at http://www.pipestemlaw.com/kaysera-stops-pretty-places/

Sept. 8:  NIWRC will host a Twitter storm for #JusticeforKaysera at 3 p.m. EST/1 p.m. MST

Sept. 9: Advocates are invited to send a letter to Governor Bullock, draft letter will be posted on Aug. 24 at http://www.pipestemlaw.com/kaysera-stops-pretty-places/

Sept. 10: SBI will host a final webinar featuring the voices of Big Horn County MMIWP families and sharing their stories.

Sept. 11:  Prayer Ceremony at 9 a.m. MST, Mitchell Avenue and Rangeview Drive. All are welcome, but if you attend in person please wear a mask and observe social distancing.

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