May 5 is the National Day of Awareness for Missing and Murdered Native Women and Girls.
Following is information from the Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL) about an online Zoom meeting tonight.
The statistics of missing and murdered Indigenous women are staggering—84 percent of Native women experience violence in their lifetimes. In some communities, the murder rate is 10 times the national average.
With stay-at-home orders enacted in many states and tribes, these rates of violence in Indian Country are expected to skyrocket.
We will give you the tools you need to educate your senators on why reauthorizing the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA)—with strong tribal provisions—is a must for Indian Country.
If you’re unfamiliar with VAWA or if you’ve never virtually lobbied before, don’t worry. All you need is a willingness to learn and access to the internet.
Restoring tribal jurisdiction over crimes committed against Native people is more important than ever.
There is a lot of information about Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Land and Body Sovereignty on the Seeding Sovereignty website.
Here is a link to Christine Nobiss speaking at the Women’s March in 2018 in Des Moines, Iowa.
The women at Seeding Sovereignty work hard to prevent our sisters from going missing and/or murdered and help raise awareness about the epidemic of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women.
Native American women and girls know their heritage puts them at risk. They tell each other to take care. They all know it is easy for someone to take them and kill them and get away with it.
Preyed upon by attackers, rapists and killers familiar with the empty reaches of reservations, the patchwork of jurisdictions, the disregard of some and the silence of others, they are in danger just for being a Native woman or girl.
The statistics are grim.
A report from the National Institute of Justice found that more than four out of five Native American women have experienced violence in their lives. In 2016, the Centers for Disease Control reported that homicide is the third leading cause of death among Native American women between the ages of 10 and 24. The Department of Justice has reported Native American women are 10 times more likely to be murdered than other Americans.The Vanished
Families face steep learning curve when a loved one goes missing.
- Coalition to Stop Violence Against Native Women
- National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center
- Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women USA
- Lost and Missing in Indian Country
- Yakima Scan Missing Persons
- National Missing and Unidentified Persons System
- Rape Abuse Incest National Network
- National Domestic Violence Hotline
- Strong Hearts Native Helpline
- National Center for Missing and Exploited Children
Following are some stories I’ve learned from my friends.
Foxy Onefeather holds a painting about this crisis by Jackie Fawn during the First Nation-Farmer Climate Unity March in 2018
“The story of this piece is of a sister being engulfed by the blacksnake, and its poison. She holds a candle that has burned for what seem like an endless time in the darkness. Protecting her spirit are two red butterflies that carry the prayers of the people for our murdered and missing. For our women and children we must rise. For our water and the connection that the earth and women share, we must rise. For their futures, we rise.”– Jackie Fawn
On the second day of the March, a drone flew overhead while my friend Matthew Lone Bear and I were talking. I asked if he had ever taken video with a drone. It turns out he has a great deal of experience with drones. When I asked what he used drones for, he said to search for missing people. This is related to the huge problem with disappearing and murdered Native women. I think he was actually taking a break from those emotionally draining searches by participating on this March. Talking to him since the March ended, I learned he is heading to another area to search for yet another missing person. Matt is planning to use his experience to develop a manual for others who plan to search for people. Prior to the use of drones, lines of people would walk to search.
Christine Nobiss and Donnielle Wanatee spoke about missing and murdered Indigenous women at our gathering in Minneapolis in 2018, protesting U.S. Bank’s continued funding of fossil fuel projects. The relationship between these two things is that many of the Native women assaulted, taken and/or murdered were assaulted by men working in the pipeline construction camps or oil fields.
The purpose of the First Nation-Farmer Climate Unity March was for a small group of Native and non native people to get to know each other, so we can work on things of common concern. One of the first efforts was when the group below visited Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley to talk with his staff about two pieces of legislation related to Native communities, One was the SURVIVE Act which is intended to get more funds from the Victims of Crime Act to Native communities. The second is Savanna’s Act, which allows tribal police forces to have jurisdiction over non-Native people on Native land, access to criminal databases and expanded collection of crime statistics. Senator Grassley was involved in the passage of the Victims of Crime Act.
Here are photos from last year’s day of awareness, in Des Moines, Iowa.