May 5: National Day of Action for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Relatives
Violence against Native American women has been a national crisis, only recently coming to greater public awareness thanks to the efforts of many organizations and individuals. According to the National Crime Information Center, in 2017 there were more than 5,700 reports of missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG). In 2018, the Center for Disease and Control and Prevention reported homicide as one of the leading causes of death among American Indian and Alaska. In some areas, women and girls are murdered at a rate that is 10 times the national average.
The National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center describes the roots of this crisis:
The crisis of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women (MMIW) is the extension of colonization through the systemic denial of the full authority of Indian Nations to self-government and the withholding of the federal government resources essential to lifesaving services, as well as the fostering of a social tolerance of disrespect and violence toward women.
New Mexico has the highest number of MMIWG cases in the country (the state has the fifth-largest Indigenous population in the nation). In 2019, the New Mexico Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women Task Force was established to address this crisis and to make policy recommendations to the Governor and appropriate legislative committees.
May 5 was first declared as at National Day of Awareness in 2017 by a U.S. Senate resolution. Since then, this annual day of action and awareness has become a time to call for justice and reforms to dismantle the systemic barriers impacting the safety of Native women. It’s also an invitation to increase support for protections as defined by Indigenous voices, languages, and teachings.
MMIWR Events: May 5, 2022
O’ga Pogeh (Santa Fe)
Community Event at the Plaza
Gather at the Plaza for a community event to honor our MMIW/MMIR/MMIWGT2S, MMIP through prayer, words, art, song & dance. TWU’s Sayaas (Circle of Grandmothers) will offer an opening blessing. You are invited to wear red and dress in your traditional attire. Signs and posters welcome. Organized by the Three Sisters Collective.
9:30 am – 1 pm
Community Event at the Indian Pueblo Cultural Center
Join Indian Affairs Department, the NM MMIWR Task Force, and partners as we release the formal Response Plan for the State of New Mexico. Join us in saying ‘enough is enough’—no more stolen relatives!
Uplifting the Voices of MMIW Surviving Families
1-2:30 pm Mountain Time
By learning from the experiences of surviving family members of MMIW, the movement can work to achieve the reforms needed to safeguard the lives of Indigenous women and strengthen the authority of Indian nations to protect their citizens. Organized by the National Indigenous Women’s Resource Council. Register here: https://event.gotowebinar.com/event/c857a5dd-a574-4d9e-8df1-daae5b5b3540
Remembering Our Sisters Forum
1 pm Mountain Time
Hear directly from Native youth leader about their work in the MMIWG2S+ movement, policy recommendations, and the fellowship on May 5th at 3:00pm EST at the Remembering Our Sisters Forum, a co-hosted event by Native Americans in Philanthropy and Center for Native American Youth. Register here: https://aspeninst.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_KWf6yrIRR-u8p9KfhqPvKA
- MMIW Toolkit for Families and Communities, from National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center
- New Mexico Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women Task Force
- Special edition of Restoration magazine, dedicated to the issue of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women
- Video: Dr. Corrine Sanchez, TWU executive director, speaking on MMIW at Indigenous Women’s Day, 2019