The alarming number of murdered and missing indigenous women in America today is an issue not talked about enough. The US Department of Justice found that Native American women are 10 times more likely to be murdered and sexually assaulted than the national average. Also, homicide was found to be the third-highest cause of death for Native American women ages 10-24. This violence is often an effect of police brutality and racism from groups outside of the Native American community. These crimes against Native women are often overlooked by jurisdiction, leaving victims, their families, and their communities without justice.
To shed light on this issue, a movement was started, called the Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women, or #MMIW. They gained the support of many prominent law enforcement officials, politicians, and legislators, which helped spread awareness to the citizens and the general public. As a result, many crucial changes were made. One example is a partnership between the Department of Justice and the Bureau of Indian Affairs. They made a promise to improve tracking and education involving Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women in Tribal Offices. Legislation has also made strides to resolve the MMIW crisis, with the Violence Against Women Act up for reauthorization. If passed, this law would give Tribal courts jurisdiction to prosecute non-Native suspects in domestic-violence cases on tribal lands.
Although progress has been made, many things are still crucial to the MMIW movement. Namely, legislation that would protect and support Native women. Without doing so, the recent momentum could slow down and the opportunity to prioritize these women now could be lost. There are many ways to join the movement. Here are a few actions you can take to get involved now:
Donate the Coalition to Stop Violence Against Native Women at csvanw.org/donate/
Sign petitions, including this one: https://www.change.org/p/donald-j-trump-mmiw-missing-murdered-indigenous-women
Support Native-owned business. Find dozens of online shops at http://www.beyondbuckskin.com/p/buy-native.html
Find (and share) additional resources at https://lakotalaw.org/news/2020-05-01/mmiw-resource-guide