May 5 Declared Missing and Murdered Indigenous People’s Awareness Day
Friday, May 5, has been declared Missing and Murdered Indigenous People’s Awareness Day (#MMIP, #MMIW), a national day of recognition to take a moment to assess the systemic problem of violence, abuse, and trauma in Native communities.
According to the National Institute of Justice, four out of five (about 80%) of American Indian and Alaska Native adults have experienced violence in their lifetime. Some CDC estimates show about 40% of Native women are victims of sexual abuse. These are horrific statistics that show that education and resources are needed to address this problem.
For many reasons steeped in historical trauma, the disproportionate scores of Native and Indigenous people in America and Canada who go missing every year are often not reported to authorities. Other times, reports are not taken seriously and a missing person might be categorized as “they just left and never came back.”
The Cow Creek Band of Umpqua Tribe of Indians stands united with other Tribes in bringing an increased awareness to the public, our local communities and our employees, some of whom may one day find themselves in a situation in which they can help. No family deserves to have their loved ones be a victim of violence and then go missing with no efforts to ever find them.
Many people choose to wear red on May 5 because of the significance of the red hand-print that has become a symbol of #MMIW, representing the silence that many Native women feel when it comes to confronting violence and abuse. The hand-print is explained here on the Native Hope website for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women: https://www.nativehope.org/missing-and-murdered-indigenous-women-mmiw
Here are some additional resources for further education:
Department of Justice: https://www.justice.gov/tribal/mmip
- Report or identify a missing person
- View unsolved cases
National Human Trafficking Hotline: https://humantraffickinghotline.org/en
- Text, hearing impaired and chat options
- Potential red flags for spotting human trafficking, and tips for communicating with someone being trafficked
Social media hand-gesture for human trafficking helps save a teen (Today Show NBC): https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/missing-n-c-teen-found-after-using-tiktok-hand-sign-n1283401
Yurok Tribe Sponsors MMIP Day of Action (February 2023, scroll down to page 3): https://www.yuroktribe.org/post/yurok-today-the-voice-of-the-yurok-people-february-edition-2023