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Join National Day of Awareness to Commemorate Missing and Murdered Native Women and Girls - May 5th

Join NIWRC's 2020 #MMIWGActionNow Campaign

As we are challenged by the difficult times created by the COVID-19 pandemic, advocates, shelters, and programs continue their tireless and dedicated efforts to avoid disrupting services for survivors. Looking ahead to the efforts to commemorate May 5th as the National Day of Awareness (NDA) for Missing and Murdered Native Women and Girls, we are challenged as a national movement to reconsider how best to honor our missing and murdered Indigenous women amidst the pandemic.

While the important public health policies of social distancing and “shelter-in-place” may prevent in-person MMIWG activities, we strongly encourage communities and programs to creatively participate in this year’s National Day of Awareness. We need action now! The National Day of Awareness for Missing and Murdered Native Women and Girls honors the lives of our Native sisters and helps shed light on the countless tragedies involving our Native sisters.

The continuing reports of abductions and murders of Native women and girls 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. Often, these disappearances or murders are connected to crimes of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, stalking, and sex trafficking.

In 2017, the Montana Congressional Delegation led the way for passage of a Senate resolution declaring May 5 as a National Day of Awareness for Missing and Murdered Native Women and Girls. May 5th was the birthday of Hanna Harris, a 21-year-old member of the Northern Cheyenne tribe who went missing on July 4, 2013. Each year since 2017, the national movement to end violence against Native women has organized activities in support of the May 5th National Day of Awareness.

This National Day of Awareness also highlights the need for ongoing grassroots advocacy and changes to the laws, policies, and increased allocation of resources to end these injustices. Individual and/or joint actions at the local, tribal, state, national, and international levels are needed this year. The issues surrounding missing and murdered Native women must be brought into the public's awareness to increase the accountability of the justice systems. In uncertain times such as these, where people are forced to work from home or lose their jobs altogether, it can put people in abusive relationships at further risk. Public statements honoring and calling for justice for MMIWG can also serve as statements of support for those who are suffering from abuse and violence. Turning our grief to action, NIWRC strongly supports and calls upon Congress to address:

1) the need for increased tribal victim services and tribal justice resources affirmed in several federal reports, and

2) the inadequate responses of the federal and state criminal justice systems that fail Native women.

NIWRC is committed to increasing safety and access to justice for American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian women and their children, by bringing awareness to this critical issue of missing and murdered Native women and girls. We believe that we can continue to build strong support and action around MMIWG but only with your help.

Please join us for the following activities:

  • Download the MMIWG ‘No More Stolen Sisters’ poster and share a photo of yourself wearing red and/or traditional attire with the poster using #MMIWGTakeAction, #NoMoreStolenSisters and #MMIWG. Download poster here
  • Access the MMIWG Social Media Guide, complete with prepared social media posts and graphics to download for your use.
  • Watch the Native Wellness Institute's Power Hour on Facebook Live Monday, May 4, from 2-3 p.m. CT. NIWRC will join our sisters and LGBTQ2S relatives to share resources for MMIWG. | Watch the replay here
  • Participate in our #MMIWGActionNow Twitter Storm – Tuesday, May 5, from 11-11:30 AM CT. Please use hashtags: #MMIWGActionNow, #NoMoreStolenSisters, and #MMIWG. Download posts here
  • Listen to Native America Calling on Tuesday, May 5, from 12-1 PM CT. NIWRC Executive Director Lucy Simpson will be a guest to discuss how advocates are 'uniting (in isolation) for MMIWG awareness'
  • Join our #MMIWGActionNow Twitter Chat – Tuesday, May 5, from 1-2 PM CT. Please use hashtags: #MMIWGActionNow, #NoMoreStolenSisters, and #MMIWG. Download questions here
  • Register for ‘Missing and Murdered Native Women and Girls – National Day of Action’ webinar – Tuesday, May 5, 2-3:30 PM CT | Register here
  • Watch the United State of Women #StateOfWomenTV Instagram Live Series featuring NIWRC Senior Native Affairs Advisor Elizabeth Carr on Tuesday, May 5, starting at 3 p.m. CT.
  • Tag the National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram in your efforts to raise awareness for MMIWG.

Thank you for your continued support, participation, and for the work that you do in each of your communities to raise awareness for missing and murdered Native women and girls.