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Today is Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls National Day of Awareness. You may have seen the hashtags: #MMIWG #WhyWeWearRed #NoMoreStolenSisters #NotInvisible You may have seen your colleagues posting pictures of themselves wearing red or with a red hand-print on their faces. We do this because we can’t march to show our solidarity. We do this to bring attention to the injustices indigenous women continue to experience in the 21st Century.
As tribal nations continue to wait for federal aid set aside for them over a month ago, we are seeing tribal members dying from COVID-19 at higher rates than people in other populations. Not only that, we see that they may enter a hospital Indigenous but all too often when they leave (no matter how they leave) they are classified as white or Latinx, but not Indigenous. The same thing happens in cases of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls. In the era of big data, Indigenous people are being erased. In the era of big data, we do not exist. This has been called a modern-day genocide.
So, today we are messengers. We lift our voices and say No More! We are here to share information and be a part of the solution. Join us. Take the time to learn about these issues. Help us stop the data erasure of Indigenous people.
Here’s a video that encapsulates Arizona’s response to the issue of MMIWG in a Q&A hosted by the ASU Law School Academy for Justice. ASU has a team of folks working on MMIWG issues, including a study being conducted out of ASU’s Research on Violent Victimization Lab in the Watts College of Public Service and Community Solutions.
See also the Urban Indian Health Institute’s newly published Best Practices for American Indian and Alaska Native Data Collection and the 2019 MMIWG: We Demand More report addressing the data deficiencies. They are excellent follow-ups to the highly regarded 2018 study: Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls: A Snapshot of Data from 71 Urban Cities in the United States.
Thank you for reading and taking time out of your day to honor Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls. Share this and let us together #BeTheSolution.