- By Levi Rickert
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.
Founder, Editor & Publisher
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For the past decade-plus, we’ve covered the important Indigenous stories that are often overlooked by other media. From the protests at Standing Rock and the toppling of colonizer statues during the racial equity protests, to the ongoing epidemic of Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women (MMIW) and the past-due reckoning related to assimilation, cultural genocide and Indian Boarding Schools, we have been there to provide a Native perspective and elevate Native voices.
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