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 Lummi Nation’s Vigil and Awareness Walk, to Cowlitz Tribe’s Honoring Week, to Spokane Tribe’s Annual MMIW 5K, to Tulalip Tribes’ MMIWP Day of Recognition and Healing, to Yakima Nation’s MMIP Symposium, and Muckleshoot Indian Tribe’s MMIW Week of Action, you have a lot of ways to get involved.
You can also check out the 2023 National Week of Action for MMIW for virtual learning and gathering opportunities, action steps, and tools.
Violence against Indigenous women and relatives is both a historical and current reality for Native communities. Native boarding schools, which operated in the U.S. from 1819 and 1969, were a site of violence, cultural erasure, and disappearance for generations of Native children. Last year’s Federal Indian Boarding School Initiative Investigative Report uncovered the magnitude of these boarding schools and called for further investigation into what occurred at these schools and their lasting impacts on Native communities.
Last month, the Tulalip Tribes hosted Secretary Deb Haaland’s Road to Healing tour, offering space for survivors of Native boarding schools to share their stories, to help connect communities with trauma-informed support, and to facilitate the collection of a permanent oral history. We’re grateful for the work of Tribal advocates and programs to move us towards healing, action, and change.
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 former 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.
- Check out and share our Facebook post for more ideas.
Is your program or community taking action? Let us know. We would love to hear from you.
May everyone return home safely.