Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls and LGBTQ2S Relatives
The AKNWRC staff continues its work around the ongoing crisis of our Indigenous women and girls going missing or found murdered, a 550 year struggle with the arrival of the colonizers. Staff has finished a toolkit called “Missing and murdered Indigenous women: An action plan for Alaska Native communities.” Once the toolkit has completed the approval process, we will begin to include the information into community empowerment curriculum, distribute it to our partners and the tribal communities and make it available on our website. AKNWRC is also drafting and will soon be releasing a factsheet about the MMIWG crisis as well.
We recently joined an Alaska specific work group with Native Movement, Native Peoples Alliance, Alaska Native Heritage Center and Data for Indigenous Justice, to conduct public outreach and presentations on MMIWG, monitor and work on strengthening and increasing community safety through the Alaska legislature and administration.
We are a member of the federal initiated MMIP Task Force and continue to conduct monthly MMIW meetings for the purpose of strategizing, sharing information, and supporting individuals and organizations that are working on this issue. Staff also partnered with a team from the CDC to write an article on the health crisis for our Indigenous communities and families due to the long term effects of the violence perpetrated on our sisters. The article has been included in the recently published journal by the Department of Justice.
A new report by the Data for Indigenous Justice, just released in March 2021 reveals new and more accurate information about the numbers for MMIWG’s in Alaska. The actual numbers are significantly larger than previously reported. The report, entitled, “We are calling to you” found that there are currently 149 missing and 80 murdered Indigenous women and girls for a total of 229. These numbers do not include LGBTQ2S which are believed to be on the rise.
Primary solutions to this growing crisis are: continue to build awareness of and speak out about the issue of violence in our communities; increase the abilities for tribes to develop their own justice systems to provide protection orders and accountability for perpetrators; increase tribal control of public safety with tribal law enforcement; demand for coordination and communication between local, state and federal law enforcement so that investigations can begin right away.