For a country that prides itself on diversity, most cases of missing and murdered Indigenous women get swept under the rug. The National Crime Information Center reported 5,712 Native women and girls were missing as of 2016. This number is projected to be higher since there has not been a reported update. The scariest fact is, Indigenous women face violence three times more than white women and these cases rarely make the news.
As defined by wearenative.org, “the MMIW movement exists because a large number of Native women go missing and are murdered each year compared to women from other groups.”
Violence toward Indigenous individuals is on the rise since discrimination toward women and minority groups still looms over the United States’ dark past.
A huge step in the fight for justice in MMIW cases is the presidential proclamation of Indigenous People’s Day Oct. 11. President Joe Biden recognized the pain associated with “Columbus Day,” and recognized the large contributions that Native Americans have made in the United States.
“Our country was conceived on a promise of equality and opportunity for all people — a promise that, despite the extraordinary progress we have made through the years, we have never fully lived up to,” Biden wrote in his official statement. “For generations, federal policies systematically sought to assimilate and displace Native people and eradicate Native cultures. Today, we recognize Indigenous peoples’ resilience and strength as well as the immeasurable positive impact that they have made on every aspect of American society.”
Unsolved cases of MMIW go back decades. In the recent events of the Gabby Petitio case, it has been brought to national attention that native women are still missing. Law enforcement continues to fail women who fall victim to murder simply based on their race and heritage. Without the help of police and media attention, stories of indigenous women become obscure.
Fight for all women, not just the larger majority. No more stolen sisters.