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Billings Police Investigate Attack on Northern Cheyenne Tribal Councilwoman

Silver Little Eagle
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Silver Little Eagle

The Billings Police Department is investigating a report that a Northern Cheyenne tribal councilwoman was assaulted in Billings.

The family of Silver Little Eagle published a Facebook statement May 20 saying that on Sunday, May 16, the Northern Cheyenne woman had been “brutally attacked in Billings, Montana and left for dead.”

In a statement Tuesday the Billings Police Department confirmed the 24-year-old councilwoman was transported by ambulance from the Crowne Plaza Hotel in downtown Billings to a local medical facility to treat her injuries.

The statement went on to say Little Eagle’s vehicle had been located several blocks away from the hotel and another unidentified 31-year-old male was reported to have been assaulted in the same location as Little Eagle.

BPD says detectives with the investigations division are actively working the case and that two persons of interest, a 25-year-old female from St. Xavier and a 27-year-old female from an unknown town, have been identified and are being sought for questioning. No charges have been filed, nor arrests made.

The department says it’s believed everyone involved knew each other in some way, adding, “While the investigation is still on-going at this time, there is no indication that the crime was racially motivated or connected to human trafficking.”

BPD said they typically do not identify victims but the case has become public since Little Eagle is a political representative of Lame Deer and her family spoke about the case online.

A statement from her family said Little Eagle has received further threats of violence and cyberbullying since the incident. The youngest elected member of Northern Cheyenne’s Tribal council, Little Eagle’s 24 birthday was Monday.

A GoFundMe campaign organized to cover Little Eagle’s medical and legal expenses has surpassed its $25,000 goal.

Kaitlyn Nicholas is Yellowstone Public Radio’s Report for America Indigenous Affairs reporter.

Kaitlyn Nicholas covers tribal news in Montana.