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MSU Billings' No More Stolen Sisters game hits close to home for Famous Lefthand, Kola Bad Bear

Posted at 11:31 AM, Feb 19, 2024

BILLINGS — The MSU Billings men’s and women’s basketball teams raised awareness for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Peoples with Saturday’s No More Stolen Sisters doubleheader — something that hits close to home for a pair of Yellowjacket stars.

“I have known some girls and have had family members who have gone missing or have been murdered," MSUB's Kola Bad Bear said. "If you're truly wanting to know, no one is going to take offense to it. I know it's a hard topic, but it's something that does need to be talked about."

“In Native culture it's a big thing. We've lost so many cousins, relatives and family members to drugs and alcohol or whatever reason. It's a big thing," Famous Lefthand said.

During halftime of Saturday’s women’s game family members of the missing held an emotional ceremony. As mentioned, both Lefthand and Bad Bear have personally been affected, and when it came onto their radar it was only right to bring attention to the issue.

“We had a class member that went missing in high school. Just from there we needed to start raising awareness. That's when it started becoming a big thing was around that time, too," Lefthand said.

“Just being a person of color and a Native American myself, I think it's important to raise this awareness because it could not just happen to me, but someone else at this school or a high school," Bad Bear said. "Not just anyone of color, but also just any woman or any younger guy to continue to look out for one another and to realize this is happening. It's an epidemic and it is pretty bad on the reservations."

Raising awareness around Missing and Murdered Indigenous Peoples has been something Bad Bear has championed throughout her college years, especially while at Montana State in Bozeman, and she’s hoping the efforts will have a lasting impact.

“I was also a part of a huge awareness group in Bozeman during my time there. Now they have an annual game every year, women and men, raising awareness and wearing red, having a traditional dance at halftime. Also data and statistics to educate the community why we're doing this and to put it on their minds that this is happening in neighboring communities to them," Bad Bear said.