The oil and fracking industries have been disruptive forces in the American economy. Just ask the coal industry. But they’ve also disrupted communities and lives in horrible ways, according to Lissa Yellowbird-Chase. She’s dedicated her life to seeking justice and closure for the families of raped, disappeared, and murdered indigenous women and girls, especially in the vicinity of the Bakken oil fields on the Fort Berthold Reservation in North Dakota. Yellowbird-Chase has also led groups with shovels to search for missing victims. She says she is most respectful and careful because, “You end up with a finger or something in there, then you’re destroying evidence.”
Yellowbird-Chase works to draw attention to the “man camps” that pop up after an oil or gas boom. Men stream into small communities from all over the world to cash in on high-paying fracking and pipeline jobs. She will tell us how the climate of crime and impunity in these man camps have destroyed lives. Yellowbird-Chase will also be at Loyola University Chicago’s 2018 Conference on Climate Change, March 15-16. She will co-lead a panel on the topic. Yellowbird-Chase is founder of Sahnish (The People) Scouts, a citizen-led organization dedicated to finding justice for missing people and their families.