Action Alert: Sign On to Declare May 5th as the National Day of Awareness for Missing and Murdered Native Women and Girls
We call on all those concerned for the safety of Native women to organize at the local, tribal, state, national, and international levels to support a National Day of Awareness for Missing and Murdered Native Women and Girls.
In 2017, the Montana Congressional Delegation led the way for the passage of a Senate resolution declaring May 5th the National Day of Awareness for Missing and Murdered Native Women and Girls (MMIWG) in response to the demands for justice following the murder of Hanna Harris at the Northern Cheyenne Reservation in 2013. Due to the inadequate response of the justice system, her family and friends conducted the search for Hanna. The community also led marches for justice for Hanna and other unresolved murders of Native women. Since 2017, the national movement to end violence against Native women has organized activities supporting May 5th as the National Day of Awareness for Missing and Murdered Native Women and Girls.
The current reports of abduction and murder of Native women and girls are alarming and represent one of the most horrific aspects of the spectrum of violence committed against Native women. The murder rate of Native women is more than ten times the national average on some reservations. These disappearances or murders are often connected to domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, stalking, and sex trafficking. The intersection of gender-based violence and MMIWG is heavily intertwined.
Native women continue to disappear, and many have been murdered. The issues surrounding missing and murdered Native women must continue to be elevated beyond public awareness for action and increased accountability of the justice systems. Turning our grief to action, NIWRC strongly supports and calls upon Congress to address:
- the need for additional tribal victim services and tribal justice resources affirmed in several federal reports, including those identified in the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights Broken Promises Report (more: bit.ly/3bvtfqz), and
- the inadequate responses of the federal and state criminal justice systems that fail Native women.
- honor the lives of our Native sisters,
- continue to shed light on the countless tragedies involving our Native sisters,
- highlight the need for ongoing grassroots advocacy and organizing for change of laws, policies, protocols, and allocation of increased resources at the tribal, federal, and state levels to end these injustices, and
- create the sharing of information needed to understand the legal reforms and changes required.
NIWRC remains committed to increasing safety and access to justice for American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian women and girls by advocating for reforms at the systemic level to prevent future acts of violence. Through this organizing for justice, we are committed to lifting the voices of surviving family members to hold accountable the failed systems responsible for this national crisis.
Please sign on to support the Senate and House resolutions declaring May 5, the National Day of Awareness for Missing and Murdered Native Women and Girls.
Now is the time for collective advocacy in action!
Cherrah Giles, Muscogee (Creek), Chairwoman, NIWRC Board of Directors
Lucy Simpson, Diné, NIWRC Executive Director