Native women and girls experience some of the highest rates of violence. According to the National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center, the murder of Native women is more than ten times the national average on some reservations. The National Week of Action for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls/Peoples (MMIWG/P) May 1 – May 7 is a call for the nation and the world to raise awareness and take action in honor of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls. This national week of action leads to the National Day of Action on May 5. It is a day of observance to honor the lives of and acknowledge the staggering number of abducted and murdered Indigenous women and girls across the country. The day is marked annually during May on the birthday of Hanna Harris, a 21 year-old member of the Northern Cheyenne tribe who went missing on July 4, 2013.
Native women and girls experience some of the highest rates of violence. According to the National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center, the murder of Native women is more than ten times the national average on some reservations. The murders and disappearances of indigenous women and girls are often connected to crimes of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, stalking, and sex trafficking. And yet, these cases often go unheard and uninvestigated, leaving the families of those who go missing and murdered without answers and those responsible go unpunished for their crimes.
We must continue to bring awareness to the issue of missing and murdered Native women. Only by doing so will we and increase accountability of the systems and institutions that have let these crimes go silent and bring denied justice to the families of the missing and murdered.
NYSCADV is committed to increasing safety and access to justice for all Indigenous peoples and intends to raise our voices to amplify the critical efforts that Indigenous communities engage in. We have been working with Indigenous organizations, advocates, and allies on several fronts to prevent and end violence against Indigenous peoples. NYSCADV created the Domestic Violence and Indigenous Peoples Project in collaboration with partners such as the Seven Dancers Coalition, Michelle Shenandoah, and others to provide trainings, listening sessions, and resources related to Indigenous Peoples to increase access to services that are provided in a culturally safe and responsive manner for Indigenous survivors. NYSCADV continues to learn from our partners on how best to support their efforts. The project includes research, best practices, articles, and resources for advocates and domestic violence survivors, which can be accessed by clicking here.
NYSCADV is participating in the National Week of Action for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls campaign beginning on May 1 and leading up to the National Day of Awareness for MMIWG on May 5. We invite you to join us in these virtual activities! Here are a few ideas for how you can participate:
- Take action during the 2023 National Week of Action for MMIWGP! Click here for a full list of activities.
- Participate in Running for Justice: Remembering Missing and Murdered Indigenous Relatives Virtual 5k, 10k & Half Marathon, hosted by Rising Hearts (May 6-7) by clicking here.
- Wear RED on May 5 and post a photo on social media with the hashtag. #NationalDayofAwareness #MMNWG or #MMIW.
- Participate in the #MMIWGActionNow Twitter Storm on May 5 1:00 – 2:00 PM
- Host a community event in your community on May 5.
- Host a prayer circle or candlelight vigil on May 5.
- Raise awareness by sharing the names and the stories of those who are missing or may have been murdered in your community.
Learn about the critical work that Indigenous organizations are doing to increase awareness and promote change across the nation:
Seven Dancers Coalition: A New York State based nonprofit whose mission is to uplift the families of Indigenous Communities by educating and restoring traditional values with the purpose of strengthening self-confidence and dignity.
StrongHearts Native Helpline (1-844-762-8483): A 24/7 culturally-appropriate, anonymous, confidential service dedicated to serving Native American survivors of domestic violence and concerned family members and friends.
Mending the Sacred Hoop (MSH): A Native owned and operated non-profit that exists to address violence against Native women and works to end it. MSH provides grassroots building, coalition building, and trainings on addressing, responding, and preventing violence against American Indian/Alaska Native women in their home community of Duluth, MN and throughout Minnesota.
National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center (NIWRC): A Native nonprofit organization that was created specifically to serve as the National Indian Resource Center (NIRC) addressing domestic violence and safety for Indian Women. NIRWC conducts public awareness and resource development, training and technical assistance, policy development, and research activities.
Rematriation: Rematriation is a multi-media initiative engaging in film production, digital content creation and community engagement. Rematriation re-imagines the ways in which a “magazine” can shift narratives, defy stereotypes, and reflect indigenous experiences. This initiative engages a community of Haudenosaunee and Indigenous women who are healing together. Non-Indigenous friends and allies are welcome to join to receive subscriber-only content. A go to place to learn about how you can support the work of Rematriation and gain access to tips and advice about showing up in support of Indigenous peoples.