He also is a relative of Ashley Loring HeavyRunner, who went missing in 2017 from the Blackfeet Nation.
From his work in MMIP advocacy and activism, MacDonald said he found himself thinking about what was needed to directly support families.
“There are so many different facets you can work with to address the crisis. We asked what would help families and what their immediate needs are,” he said.
If MacDonald sees a missing person’s case, he’ll find out who to contact and reach out to offer support and resources. MacDonald has been in contact with the families of Leo Wagner and Arden Pepion, who both went missing from the Blackfeet Reservation in recent months.
“Now that there’s this centralized resource, it’s been great to be able to direct families there,” MacDonald said.
Helping families navigate the legal system, obtain records, file suits and find private investigators and local counsel are all things the fund can assist in accomplishing, MacDonald added.
The program is mainly aimed at families in Montana, but Dudik said if someone from out of state calls, her team will do what they can to get the family adequate help and pointed in the right direction. If someone from out of the area called, they would not be turned away.