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This week, Native News Online reported news about the positive DNA identification of Melissa “Missy” Ann Poitra, a Turtle Mountain Band of Chippewa tribal citizen who had been missing for 15 years. The story, by coincidence, was published on March 4, one day before National Awareness Day for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Persons. For decades, the issue was called “the silent crisis.”

Some 1,600 miles from her homeland in North Dakota, Melissa’s body was discovered in North Carolina 10 years after her family notified police she was missing. It took another five years for her body to be positively identified by law enforcement.

With her identification, Melissa becomes another MMIW statistic. But for her family, friends and tribe, she was no statistic.

Sadly, Melissa’s story is only one of thousands. We talked about several of those stories during an MMIW Live Stream event with tribal leaders on Wednesday. Importantly, we also talked about what needs to change to end this silent crisis.  

Native News Online remains committed to publishing stories and hosting events that help raise awareness and offer solutions.

Please consider supporting our work with a donation, so we can continue to produce stories and events that shed light on important issues that affect Native Americans. 

Megwetch for your readership and support. 

 

Levi Rickert

Founder, Editor & Publisher

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About The Author
Levi Rickert
Author: Levi RickertEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Levi "Calm Before the Storm" Rickert (Prairie Band Potawatomi Nation) is the founder, publisher and editor of Native News Online. Rickert was awarded Best Column 2021 Native Media Award for the print/online category by the Native American Journalists Association. He serves on the advisory board of the Multicultural Media Correspondents Association. He can be reached at [email protected].