At the intersection of domestic violence, sexual assault and victim services is the ongoing crisis of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIW) across the United States and Canada.
According to the most recent data, Indigenous women are 10 times more likely to be murdered than non-Indigenous women. The crisis of MMIW is a result of deep-rooted systemic issues, including colonialism, racism, and gender-based violence. It is important to acknowledge that Indigenous women and girls have been missing and murdered on this land for generations, and the current crisis is a continuation of this ongoing violence.
In recent news, the Canadian government released their national action plan to address MMIW. While the plan has been met with some criticism from Indigenous leaders who feel that it does not go far enough, it is a step in the right direction towards addressing this crisis. It is important that the Canadian government continues to work with Indigenous communities to implement this plan effectively.
In the United States, the Savanna’s Act and the Not Invisible Act were both passed into law last year, which aim to address the crisis of MMIW. These bills aim to improve data collection on MMIW cases, increase resources for law enforcement to respond to these cases, and provide support for victims’ families. The Savanna’s Act has already passed in the Senate, and the Not Invisible Act has passed in the House of Representatives. We encourage everyone to contact their representatives and urge them to pass these bills into law. However, the implementation of these acts has been slow, and more action is needed to ensure that they are fully enforced.
It is important to remember that the crisis of MMIW is not just a legal or political issue, but a deeply rooted societal issue. We must work to challenge the systemic issues of racism, colonialism, and gender-based violence that contribute to the ongoing violence against Indigenous women and girls.
As we continue to work towards justice for MMIW, we want to highlight the importance of supporting Indigenous-led organizations and initiatives. These organizations are doing important work to raise awareness about the crisis of MMIW and support Indigenous communities. Some organizations that you can support include:
- Inter-Tribal Council of Nevada Family Violence Prevention Program
- NCEDSV- Nevada Coalition to End Domestic and Sexual Violence
- National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center
Thank you for continuing to stand with us in the fight for justice for MMIW. We encourage you to stay informed and take action in your own communities to address this crisis.