5 Indigenous Voices on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Womxn and Girls

By Jade Begay

Photo by: Jonathan Canlas for Who Is Missing.

This year, May 5th marked a significant moment for Indian Country, especially for those of us living in the so-called United States.

For the first time in history the U.S. Senate passed legistlation on April 26th, 2018 to address the epidemic of missing and murdered Indigenous women and designated May 5th as the National Day of Awareness for Missing and Murdered Native Women and Girls.

In addition to this National Day of Awareness, this past year we have seen the passing of the Savannah Act, which ensures that tribes in North Dakota have the resources they need to “protect women and girls from violence, abduction, and human trafficking”. And in Washington State House Bill 2951 has been passed, which orders a “study to determine how to increase reporting and investigation of missing Native American women”.

While these bills and legislation give our families and communities hope that our cries for recognition are being answered, there is still so much work to do in having this issue amplified and understood, not only within the justice system but also in the media, and in social justice and feminist movements.

In the spirit of creating more understanding around this topic, we have created a list of articles, podcasts, and videos that can help one better grasp the complexities and roots of the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls epidemic.

  1. Little Data Exists on Shadowy World of Sex Trafficking by Jenni Monet.
  2. Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women Need Your Support by Ruth Hopkins.
  3. “Violence Against The Earth Is Violence Against Women” — Melina Luboucan-Massimo at RedX Talks
  4. What’s Missing from #MeToo and #TimesUP: One Indigenous Woman’s Perspective, by Princess Daazhraii Johnson
  5. Missing & Murdered: Finding Cleo, a podcast hosted by Connie Walker

After making your way through this list, we suggest following, supporting and volunteering with these various organizations and projects that are working to end violence against Indigenous women and girls:

  1. Coalition to Stop Violence Against Women
  2. National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center
  3. Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women Database
  4. Who Is Missing
  5. No More Stolen Sisters
Art work by Chief Lady Bird. Find her on instagram at @Chiefladybird

Statistics regarding MMIW/MMIWG via Indian Country Today

The National Crime Information Database: 5,712 known incidents of missing and murdered Indigenous women in 2016

National Institute of Justice : More than four out of five Native women have experienced violence in their lives.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention: Homicide the third-leading cause of death among Native women ages 10 to 24.

U.S. Department of Justice: Native women living on reservations are 10 times more likely to be murdered than those off the reservation.