fbpx
 

 ST. Paul, Minn. — A  task force established in 2019 in Minnesota that focuses on the epidemic of missing and murdered Indigenous women (MMIW) released its first report that in Minnesota, American Indian women and girls make up 8 percent of murdered women and girls in the State. 

Indigenous women (and girls) make up only 1 percent of the state’s population, according to the report released on December 15, 2020 by the Minnesota Department of Public Safety. 

The report published several findings including: 

1) Root cause of MMIW injustices are based in colonization and historical trauma, racism, and sexism and sexual objectification of Indigenous women and girls.

2) Indigenous women, girls and two spirit people are not at increased risk of violence because of individual risky behaviors or poor choices, but rather systemic risk factors such as poverty and homelessness, child welfare involvement, domestic violence, sex trafficking and prostitution which place them in dangerous situations.

3) Once an Indigenous woman or girl goes missing or dies under suspicious circumstances, the investigation, prosecution and sentencing processes that are supposed to serve justice often fail to provide equal and fair treatment for Indigenous victims.

 

4) The system does not include sufficient resources for adequate culturally responsive healing resources for Indigenous victims or survivors, families and communities.

The findings were applauded by Minnesota Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan—“We measure what we care about, which is why this report is a transformative achievement,” said Flanagan in a statement. 

“For far too long, Native women have been, at best, invisible, and at worst, disposable. As Native women and girls experienced violence, went missing, or were murdered at disproportionate rates, too often, the cases and root causes went unexamined,” said Flanagan.

In 2019, the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women’s Task Force was created through unanimous bipartisan support of the Minnesota Legislature, and was coordinated by the Minnesota Department of Public Safety, and signed into law by Governor Tim Walz in 2019.

The Task Force is composed of representatives of the Governor’s administrative cabinets, the Minnesota State Legislature, law enforcement, organizations that serve Indigenous women and victims, the U.S. Attorney’s Office, and all 11 federally recognized tribes in the state of Minnesota. 

Some of solutions presented in the report are: 1) create an MMIW Office to provide ongoing attention to and leadership for this issue; 2) ensure adequate funding and resources to implement these recommendations; 3) address systemic racism, and 4) focus on eliminating poverty and meeting basic needs. 

“We’re here for you now and we’re going to do what we can to make this better so that nobody has a mother, an aunt, or a grandmother, daughter or sister walk out the door and never know if they are going to see them again,” said Minnesota Representative and Chair of the MMIW Task Force Mary Kunesh-Podein. 

Distributed by the Department of Public Safety Office of Justice, CLICK to read the report. 

More Stories Like This

Tribal Business News Round Up: Sept. 26
A Year Later, Myron Dewey’s Family Waits for Justice
Two National Native American Organizations to Address International Trade for Indian Country at World Trade Organization Forum in Geneva
Native News Weekly (September 25, 2022): D.C. Briefs
Rep. Mary Sattler Peltola Hits the Ground Running: Her First Bill Introduced Clears Committee Two Days Later

Do you appreciate a Native perspective on the news? 

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.

Our news is free for everyone to read, but it is not free to produce. That’s why we’re asking you to make a donation this month to help support our efforts. Any contribution — big or small — helps us remain a force for change in Indian Country and continue telling the stories that are so often ignored, erased or overlooked.  Most often, our donors make a one-time gift of $20 or more, while many choose to make a recurring monthly donation of $5 or $10.  Whatever you can do, it helps fund our Indigenous-led newsroom and our ability to cover Native news. 

Donate to Native News Online today and support independent Indigenous journalism. Thank you. 

About The Author
Author: Darren ThompsonEmail: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Darren Thompson (Lac du Flambeau Ojibwe) is a staff reporter for Native News Online who is based in the Twin Cities of Minnesota. Thompson has reported on political unrest, tribal sovereignty, and Indigenous issues for the Aboriginal Peoples Television Network, Indian Country Today, Native News Online, Powwows.com and Unicorn Riot. He has contributed to the New York Times, the Washington Post, and Voice of America on various Indigenous issues in international conversation. He has a bachelor’s degree in Criminology & Law Studies from Marquette University in Milwaukee, Wisconsin.