I’m often with people who are distressed by the many injustices Indigenous peoples once did, and continue to face.
As I wrote recently, May 5th is National Day of Awareness for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and People
One way to help is to donate to the MMIR Fund (missing and murdered Indigenous relatives) which is explained below by my friends of the Great Plans Action Society. You can donate to the #MMIR Fund by sending donations to the address below.
Being born Indigenous is a political act as settler descendant society is still intent on erasing our sovereignty and very existence. We are usually left out of important national conversations but yet we suffer some of the highest rates of violence, sexual assault, suicide, and depression in the country. Many of our youth suffer serious hardships that rob them of their childhood, which forces them to grow up before their time. By middle age, many of our relatives are still suffering from intergenerational trauma and abusing drugs and alcohol.
It is no surprise to our Indigenous communities that many of our people fall through the cracks. With little to no protection, our Indigenous relatives fall victim to sex trafficking, murder, rape, and other unspeakable crimes. The Violence Against Women Act included minimal Indigenous protection, but it still sits in limbo waiting to be re-approved and passed. Our current administration does little for First Nations in offering protection on any kind of level. As we continue to see our system fail our Indigenous people, we can no longer sit back and watch our relatives go end up missing and murdered. First Nations have taken upon themselves to protect themselves and raise awareness. First Nations are demanding justice where law enforcement and legislation have turned their heads away from this epidemic.
With the history of this land, Indigenous peoples face a lot of adversities and hardships. The epidemic known as #MMIR (Missing and Murdered Indigenous Relatives) or popularly termed as #MMIW (Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women), has recently gained more attention. However, this epidemic started as soon as the first settlers made contact with First Nations on Turtle Island. Throughout centuries of degradation and false imagery, Indigenous people are portrayed in a negative connotation. Indigenous women are continuously being oversexualized in movies and imagery. From this false imagery (usually in movies and books) comes a troubling fascination that puts Indigenous peoples at danger for exploitation.
Without any help or funding, many grassroots organizers are left to make proactive solutions.
Great Plains Action Society is one of those grassroots organizations. Our goal is to help fundraise money to help victims and their families in their healing process as well as seeking the justice that their loved one deserves. Our goal is to create proactive solutions.
All proceeds will go to legal fees, memorial planning, travel/lodging (for court or #MMIR-related event), educational workshop materials (paper, pencils, etc.), and domestic violence prevention (self-defense training, workshops, etc.). This fund will be for victims and their families.
We would like to extend our gratitude for our “on-the-ground” grassroots organizations who truly put in the hard work in collecting data, providing safe spaces, searching for our relatives, and any other capacity that deals with this trauma work. It is not easy. We extend our support and hearts out to families, friends, and anyone who has been affected by the loss of a loved one, a co-worker, a sister, a brother, a child due to physical, psychological, and emotional abuse. We will continue to serve as an ally to those individuals.
Checks and money orders can be made out to:
Indigenous Iowa, INC.
4211 Grand Ave. #3
Des Moines, IA 50314
Learn more from this video created by Operations Organizer, Trish Etringer of an MMIW/KXL rally coordinated by Feild Organizer, Mahmud Fitil.
NOTE: you can see me at the end of our First Nation-Farmer Climate Unity March group crossing the bridge at the end of our 94 mile sacred journey, September, 2018.
I don’t have the link handy for my LARA blog, but I did write lots about this #MMIWG