That statistic comes from the report submitted in 2008 by the United States Department of Justice. If you haven’t already heard of the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women movement, now is the time to get familiar because we see no light at the end of the tunnel with the numbers of our North American Native women, girls, and two-spirited people going missing.
Where are they going and who is taking them?
The answer is uncertain, but by taking a look at the recent case of Savanna LaFontaine-Greywind, an 8-month pregnant 22-year old of Turtle Mountain Chippewa and Spirit Lake Dakota descent, who went missing in North Dakota on August 19, 2017 and was found 8 days later wrapped in plastic floating down the Red River with her baby ripped from her stomach, it is safe to say that this issue needs to be addressed. Unfortunately, Savanna is just one, among thousands, of cases of Indigenous women who have disappeared and have often gone unreported. Let us not forget about the countless femicides coming from Mexico and Canada as well. People will say these acts may be related to drug cartels or sex trafficking, even go as far to say these women may have been deserving. Well I am here to say that absolutely no woman deserves to end up cooked in a pot or in a body bag floating up the river.
The MMIW movement is aiming to achieve national recognition through organized grassroots actions and events to bring awareness of the violent epidemic of missing women that is affecting our tribal communities. There has been a lack of justice for the offenders of Indigenous women across North America, including Canada and Mexico, who have felt helpless and belittled and we have to change that to bring peace and healing for the Native people of this land.
Jacqueline Agtuca, a consultant of the National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center, got it right when she said, “If we all act within our reach we can change the world.” Last year the National Day of Remembrance and Action Against Violence on MMIW was held on May 5th and will be held annually every year from now on along with marches and vigils to keep the movement alive and to never forgot our missing sisters, mothers, daughters, and friends. Whether you choose to walk, wear red, activate, learn or organize; please be aware and recognize that these women deserve justice and equal protection in this nation.
#MMIWG #NationalDayofAwareness #WeCanDoIt #NAWRC #InternationalWomensDay
Amelia A Davis (Turtle Mountain Tribal Nations)