May 5, 2023
Indigenous communities have been struck by the epidemic of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls and Two-Spirit people (MMIW) for decades. This epidemic is a systemic failure where Indigenous women are going missing and being murdered at alarmingly high rates with minimal justice. Within the past several years, the MMIW movement has brought awareness of this violence to the public’s attention. Still, there is much work to be done.
On average, four out of five Indigenous women will experience violence in their lifetime. In some areas, the rates of Indigenous women being murdered is 10x the national average (found at csvanw.org). This epidemic of violence on Indigenous women is devastating for the families and communities. Indigenous women have always been placed on a pedestal for being the creators and caretakers for each community and losing even just one person is a loss in the language, culture and historical lineage.
As the MMIW movement continues to grow, there is hope that Indigenous families can find healing and justice. However, justice can only be found when the systemic barriers within the justice systems on the tribal, state and federal level are addressed. Indigenous communities are advocating for federal policies to be put in place that would protect their nations’ sovereign rights over their people and homelands. Supporting legislative policies such as Savanna’s Act and Not Invisible Act are the first steps in addressing these systemic barriers.
Indigenous communities may find healing when the tragic situations of their loved ones are recognized on a national level with a sense of urgency for the tragedy to be addressed. It is crucial for the survivors’ stories and voices to be heard so they can mourn with the peace of mind knowing justice will be served.
Some possible ideas to assist in the work of MMIW would be to use your own social media to bring awareness to everyone you know about the cases. You can also call the local law enforcement department working on the case to see what you might be able to do to bring awareness to the seriousness of the situation, perhaps calling local media sources and national media sources in the search for missing people.
You can find more information at the Coalition to Stop Violence Against Native Women at csvanw.org .
Danelle Crawford McKinney and Madison McKinney, co-writers
Today’s Focus: National Day of Awareness & Action for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls and Two-Spirit People
Let us join in prayer for:
PC(USA) Agencies’ Staff
Laura Bryan, Coordinator, Financial Aid for Service, Theology, Formation & Evangelism, Presbyterian Mission Agency
Lucy Bryant, Manager, Online Services, Presbyterian Foundation
Let us pray
Creator From All Directions, we pray for strength and confidence for Indigenous women who feel invisible but need to know they are strong warriors, and for your powerful hand to assist men when they feel helpless to protect and comfort families, and for all Indigenous people as they strive to teach the young people on how to protect and prevent harm to their future communities. Help us to give them a voice and support them through our actions in areas they need it the most. In your most holy name, we pray. Amen.