Sahnish Scouts

Lissa Yellowbird-Chase is the founder of Sahnish Scouts, a citizen-led organization dedicated to finding justice for missing people and their families. The organization not only publicizes missing persons cases through social media, postering, and other creative strategies; it also works with families and communities to investigate disappearances when attention from law enforcement is lacking. Most importantly, Sahnish Scouts searches for the missing.

The organization got its start in the Bakken oilfields of North Dakota, when Yellowbird-Chase noticed that many oil workers had disappeared and their families were still struggling to find answers. As a member of the Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara Nation, whose home, the Fort Berthold Indian Reservation, is at the center of the oilfields, Yellowbird-Chase provided an essential link between local communities and the families of the missing. More recently, she has focused her efforts on missing and murdered Indigenous women. She believes that citizen engagement in missing persons cases is essential, as it both encourages and compliments official search efforts and leads to better, successful investigations.

Yellowbird-Chase graduated from North Dakota State University with a degree in criminal justice. She lives in White Shield with her two working dogs, Bah Doh and Gah Dah and works full-time educating others in searching for our indigenous relatives. In 2014, she was honored with the Arc of Justice Award from the North Dakota Human Rights Coalition.

Grantee Information

Year(s) Awarded: 2022