This curated list is a compilation of sources in relation to the 'Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls'--often shown as the acronym 'MMIW' or 'MMIWG'. The United States Department of Justice has found Indigenous women to be 10 times more likely of being murdered than the national average. This list will highlight sources for readers to learn more about the MMIW crisis and movement in depth; it will highlight sources that show how readers can help, along with a current missing persons list to spread awareness and to put faces to names.
ANATOMY OF EACH ITEM:
Source/Publication: Headline/title and author (if applicable) | link to the source
Short description of the source
“Quote from the source.”
Urban Indian Health Institute: Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls: A Snapshot of Data From 71 Urban Cities | link to report
This 32 page report offers various forms of statistical data and infographics for an overview of the MMIW crisis, and uses this data to draw parallels between the lack of resources and lack of funding. The report addresses the lack of data as a data crisis–in that there is not enough data due to racial misclassification, lack of record in terms of tribal affiliation, and misclassifying missing Indigenous girls and women as runaways. This lack of data fuels the invisibility of missing and murdered Indigenous women.
“Until there is cooperation and better tracking systems at all government levels, the data on missing and murdered Indigenous women will never be 100 percent accurate, which is what we need to strive for in order to protect our mothers, daughters, sisters, and aunties.”
– Abigail Echo-Hawk (Pawnee), Director, Urban Indian Health Institute
The New York Times: Native American Women Are Facing a Crisis By Maya Salam | link to article
This article offers statistical data from credible and verifiable sources such as the U.S. Department of Justice, the National Institute of Justice, Urban Indian Health Institute and the National Crime Information center. Three senators: Lisa Murkowski, Catherine Cortez Masto and Jon Tester are attempting to pursue justice for these missing and murdered Indigenous women.
The author touches on the bipartisan bill Not Invisible Act of 2019 (which was enacted in 2020) and further discusses how the bill would create “an advisory committee” on a “local, tribal and federal” level so these officials can “collaborate” efficiently and effectively on this matter.
“Native American women and girls are facing an epidemic of violence that is hiding in plain sight. They are being killed or trafficked at rates
far higher than the rest of the U.S. population…Some simply disappear, presumably forced into sex trafficking.”
– Maya Salam
NBC News: MMIW: How to Help, How to Get Help By Dateline NBC | link to article
This NBC News article offers data from the CDC, and the National Institute of Justice, to offer an insight of the MMIW crisis. There is also a mention that the U.S. department of Interior is attempting to address the MMIW crisis. In April, Secretary Haaland created a unit to investigate missing and murdered Indigenous women.
There is also a list featuring a series of resources to help end violence against Indigenous women–including organizations of which to donate–such as Coalition to Stop Violence Against Native Women– databases of missing Indigenous women, and helplines.
“Non-profit organizations like Not Our Native Daughters have been fighting to bring greater awareness to the issue of missing, exploited and murdered Indigenous women and children. The website acts as a resource for finding community events as well as developing information on the movement.”
– Dateline NBC
Vice News: Indigenous Women Keep Going Missing in Montana | link to video
Vice News has created a docu-style video that shows how the media and government mistreats cases regarding missing Indigenous women and girls despite the scale of numbers. Vice News utilizes statistical data–for instance, Native Americans in Montana make up 6.7% of the population but account for 26% of missing persons reports– as evidence to this crisis. There are also interviews with family members of missing Indigenous girls, a sociologist, a former U.S. Attorney for Montana, and a tribal chief of police.
A number of issues presented in this video, including: lack of resources, lack of data collection, lack of safety and a form of invisibility due to the lack of media coverage and investigation.
“There’s an epidemic of missing and murdered Indigenous women, and Native communities have had enough.”
– Vice News
Great Falls Tribune: Tracking data of missing and murdered Indigenous people: A conversation with Annita Lucchesi By Nora Mabie | link to article
Great Falls Tribune gives readers a fountain of information on data collection that is looked through a critical thinking lens. Annita Lucchesi is the founder of one of the most extensive databases for missing and murdered Indigenous people in the U.S.–called Sovereign Bodies Institute. This interview looks into the data crisis as it relates to MMIW; there is discussion on why data collection is difficult, why it is important, recognizing trends within the data, what needs to change and what solutions need to be implemented.
“The Urban Indian Health Institute, for example, found in 2016 there were 5,712 reported cases of missing and murdered Indigenous women (MMIW), but only 116 of those were logged in the Department of Justice database.”
– Nora Mabie
The Guardian: ‘Nobody saw me’: why are so many Native American women and girls trafficked? By Nick Pachelli of Searchlight New Mexico | link to article
This Guardian article gives a compelling recollection of events, regarding Eva– a survivor of sex trafficking. The article draws on the shortcomings of tribal resources and funds to handle instances of abuse and/or preventing sex trafficking. There is a study in the journal of Criminology and Public Policy which conducted research on why law enforcement fails to recognize victims of sex trafficking. Legislation has been suggested as a small step to a bigger solution. Data shows that federal prosecutors have refused almost half of the cases on tribal land in the year of 2017. Invisibility of Indigenous peoples by the government and media is one of the biggest reasons why cases go unsolved for so long.
“We’re letting the FBI off the hook way too easily,” said Mary Kathryn Nagle, a Cherokee Nation lawyer and counsel to the National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center. “And I wish more senators would call them to account for how few investigations go anywhere. They need to have an oversight hearing on why the FBI is abdicating its duties.”
– The Guardian: ‘Nobody saw me’: why are so many
Native American women and girls trafficked? By Nick Pachelli of Searchlight New Mexico
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