Column: Let’s talk about it

The crisis of the missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls


Recent statistics show that four out of five Indigenous women are affected by violence. This is a global issue that needs to be publicized and dealt with as soon as possible. 

Indigenous women have a murder rate that is ten times higher than any other ethnicity. The third leading cause of death among this community is homicide, and in most cases, this happens on Native-owned land by non-native people, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. 

According to the Urban Indian Health Institute, 5,712 cases of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls were reported. However, only 116 of those cases were logged into databases. Due to the fact that there is a lack of attention to the subject, this organization said that this number was an undercount of the women who were affected at this time. The numbers and reports of these incidents are only increasing, as the issue gets less and less media coverage. 

This mistreatment of these Native communities can be expanded to be more than just extreme violence against Indigenous women. The American Indian and Alaska Native communities have some of the most worrying statistics of any minority group in America. The Coalition to Stop Violence Against Native Women states that Native peoples are more likely to be killed by police officers than any other minority group in the nation. This community leads with the highest rates of child poverty, where over forty percent of Native youth struggle with this. They are also ranked 49th in education, which highlights how underprivileged the people are. There is not sufficient access to education, money or safety on the Native-owned land. 

The facts and numbers speak for themselves on how prevalent this issue is in America. In order to stop this violence and decrease the number of cases, an individual can start to bring more attention to this silent crisis. By educating others on social media platforms and within learning environments, this issue can be more widely recognized. One can also vote in favor of the rights toward the American Indian and Alaska Native communities. Be sure to protest, donate and spread awareness on this topic. Many women are sharing their experiences and knowledge on the epidemic by using the hashtags #MMIW and #MMIWG, which stands for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls. Many are also using the hashtag #NoMoreStolenSisters, which highlights the vast majority of girls who are still missing. 

America can not sit idly by whilst more Native women and children experience violence in their lifetimes.