GREAT FALLS – The family of Matthew Grant is seeking justice.
“Justice is something that seems so close yet so far away for everybody,” Matthew’s cousin Tara Walker Lyons said.
The family has lived with the death of their 21-year-old loved one for two years now. As they remember those horrifying weeks leading up to the day Matthew’s body was found, they recall taking matters into their own hands.
“What was upsetting was the second or third day he was missing, we asked the police for help and their comment was, ‘He is probably out partying,’” Matthew’s aunt Rhonda Grant-Connelly said.
Members recall having to google the correct and safe way to do a search.
“You had the younger ones going door to door, going to some places that people would be scared to go to, to find Matthew,” Silent Warrior Coalition member Diana Burd said.
By the time law enforcement stepped in, it was too late.
“There are so many families on reservations, on our reservation, that are still looking for answers. What happened to their son?” Bullshoe said.
And as Matthew’s murderers still walk free today, it’s the family’s job to be the voice for justice.
“Their motto is, ‘No justice, no peace,’ that’s what they live with,” Burd said. “These people are running in our communities and the majority of the community knows who they are. Yet, we just sit there and we’re at the mercy of the state.”
They push for legislation every day.
“I know that on the reservation, the issue really comes down to jurisdiction. I know that having a clear role and having a clear protocol and set of policies related to missing and murdered indigenous people is important. It’s almost paramount at this point,” Walker Lyons said.
-Elizabeth Transue reporting for MTN News