MMIW Family Advisors

MMIW Family Advisors: Background of Our Partnership

The National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center (NIWRC) was created to carry forward a legacy of Tribal grassroots advocacy to restore safety for American Indian and Alaska Native women. The late Tillie Black Bear (Sicangu Lakota), the grandmother of the movement, dedicated her life to restoring safety to Indigenous women by strengthening the sovereignty of Indian Nations. The movement of safety for Indigenous women began in the 1970s as an unfunded Tribal grassroots movement of Indigenous survival and resistance to a broad spectrum of violence, linking to the lasting effects of colonization. The NIWRC continues this organizing based on shared Indigenous worldviews, understanding the foundation of the spectrum of violence against Indigenous women as ongoing systemic legal barriers imposed over time through colonization.

With generous financial support from the Vadon Foundation (2017-2023), the NIWRC expanded its MMIW work and analysis of the systemic barriers to safety for Indigenous women. It organized a National Week of MMIW Action to further achieve foundational change.

MMIW Family Advisory Group 

To further our collective work to strategically advance the movement for the safety of Indigenous women and justice for MMIW, we must center the voices of women and families impacted by violence. To this end, the NIWRC has partnered with surviving family members of MMIW to honor their loved ones, uplift their truths and experiences, and provide culturally grounded recommendations to strengthen Tribal, state, and federal responses to violence in Tribal and Native Hawaiian communities.

In partnership with NIWRC, the MMIW Family Advisory working group builds on a national public education and grassroots organizing campaign to increase understanding of the crisis of MMIW, based on Indigenous cultures and teachings of respect for Indigenous women, to help with the following: