By Bill Sniffin, Cowboy State Daily
The standing room only crowd at the Lander Fieldhouse Tuesday, Jan. 28, saw some powerful symbolism of the effort to deal with murdered and missing Indian girls in Indian Country.
The basketball rivalry between the two teams is legendary but on this night, players united in wearing the same red tee shirts and posed together for a photo, prior to the big game.
Lynnette Grey Bull, a leader of a movement called MMIW (Murdered and Missing Indian Women) spoke. A song was presented by Mirks and Cedar Manzanares, which was solemn and soulful.
Just the previous week, a 23-year reservation woman Jade Wagon was found dead in a field. She had been missing since Jan. 2. The investigation is ongoing. Her older sister died earlier in Riverton last year.
Grey Bull declared “No one should disappear without a trace. No one should be murdered. No family should have to go through this.”
It was an emotional moment for a huge crowd of Fremont County basketball fans. It should be noted that many of the stars of the two basketball squads were members of the Shoshone and Arapaho tribes.
The game? Lander jumped out to a 19-2 lead only to see Riverton come back and tie it 43-43 in the fourth quarter before Lander eked out the victory.