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WASHINGTON — Even with so much attention focused on Indian Country’s reaction to the COVID-19 pandemic, Indian Country is not forgetting that May 5 is National Day of Awareness for Missing and Murdered Native Women and Girls (MMIWG).

Social distancing and “shelter-in-place” may prevent in-person MMIWG activities, but Native communities and programs are encouraged to creatively participate in this year’s National Day of Awareness.

According the U.S. Justice Department, the murder rate of Native females is more than ten times the national average on some reservations. Often, these disappearances or murders are connected to crimes of domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, stalking, and sex trafficking.

Each year since 2017, May 5 is recognized as the National Day of Awareness for Missing and Murdered Native Women and Girls. The date was selected because the Montana congressional delegation persuaded the U.S. Senate to pass a resolution declaring the national day of awareness because May 5 was the birthday of Hanna Harris, a 21-year-old member of the Northern Cheyenne tribe who went missing on July 4, 2013.

The National Day of Awareness highlights the need for ongoing grassroots advocacy and changes to the laws, policies, and increased allocation of resources to end these injustices. Individual and/or joint actions at the local, tribal, state, and national levels.

To bring more attention to the issues surrounding missing and murdered Native females, national Native women advocacy groups have asked individuals to wear red.

Events

Even though you may be restricted due to social distancing or “stay-in-place” orders today, here are some events you can participate in:

  • Participate in our #MMIWGActionNow Twitter Storm – Tuesday, May 5, from 11-11:30 AM CT. Please use hashtags: #MMIWGActionNow, #NoMoreStolenSisters, and #MMIWG. Download posts here
  • Listen to Native America Calling on Tuesday, May 5, from 12-1 PM CT. NIWRC Executive Director Lucy Simpson will be a guest to discuss how advocates are 'uniting (in isolation) for MMIWG awareness'
  • Join our #MMIWGActionNow Twitter Chat – Tuesday, May 5, from 1-2 PM CT. Please use hashtags: #MMIWGActionNow, #NoMoreStolenSisters, and #MMIWG. Download questions here
  • Register for ‘Missing and Murdered Native Women and Girls – National Day of Action’ webinar – Tuesday, May 5, 2-3:30 PM CT | Register here
  • Tag the National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram in your efforts to raise awareness for MMIWG.

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