On May 5 and for the first week of May, we remember the lives of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Relatives (MMIW) and commit to action. Tribal member programs and Native advocates and survivors are leading the way, honoring Missing and Murdered Relatives, and working for change.
From the Spokane Tribe of Indians’ MMIW 5K, to Mariposa House’s MMIW Awareness Walk on the coast, to Lummi Nation’s Memorial Walk in the north, to Cowlitz Tribe’s Honoring Week, and to Yakima Nation’s Awareness Walk, you have a lot of ways to get involved. You can also check out the 2022 National Week of Action for MMIW for virtual learning opportunities, action steps, and tools.
This year, WSCADV testified in support of HB 1725 which the Washington State Legislature passed. For too long, families of missing Indigenous persons have carried the responsibility of searching for their missing loved ones due to inconsistent responses from law enforcement and other systems. HB 1725 requires the State Patrol to establish a Missing Indigenous Women and Persons alert designation—a small step towards action and justice for MMIW.
Looking for ways to learn, get involved, and take action this week? Here are some ideas:
- Read the Urban Indian Health Institute’s 2018 Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls report which highlights the MMIW crisis and the high number of cases in the Seattle metro area
- If and when a Native relative is missing or murdered, access this toolkit on Understanding and Responding to Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women for Families and Communities
- Learn more from the Yakima Herald’s in-depth series, The Vanished, or watch this powerful video by phenomenal youth athlete and WSCADV intern Rosalie Fish (Cowlitz and Muckleshoot)
- Respond to the National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center’s calls to action, and follow them on social media for events and resources.
Is your program or community taking action? Let us know. We would love to hear from you.
May everyone return home safely.