Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women (MMIW) deserve attention

Written by Star Diavolikis

Missing and murdered Indigenous women is an ongoing crisis specific to reservations and Indigenous populations, and people need to be more aware. According to nativewomenswilderness.org, a statistic they found is the rate of Indigenous women and girls being murdered are 10 times higher compared to other ethnicities.

Listed on the CDC website, murder is the third leading cause of death for Indigenous women between the ages of 1 – 19. This is startling, as other age groups for Indigenous women have other causes of death such as chronic liver disease and lower respiratory diseases.

The Yakama Nation and surrounding tribes have faced this pandemic, supported by this missing persons list provided by the Yakima Herald. It is an important note that this list is not a complete list, rather, reports that were just shared with the Yakima Herald. Within the list includes mysterious deaths that are unsolved and unsolved homicides.

Cases of Indigenous women’s unsolved homicides have been sitting since 1957, and the earliest date of a missing person on this list is 1987. However, since this list is incomplete, there are most likely longer-lasting missing persons cases existing. Alternatively, it is more common that women from other backgrounds have been found within days, weeks or months of going missing.

Indigenous women need this same amount of effort. The DEC is working to raise awareness of MMIW in hopes of making communities more aware of those missing, and it begins with events focused on MMIW!

The DEC will be having a MMIW march and awareness display on campus. On Nov. 17, there will be a MMIW march starting at the Wildcat Statue at 3 p.m., leading to a MMIW display that will be posted on Nov. 16 in front of Black Hall.

Students, staff and faculty are encouraged to wear their regalia on the day of the march! Bring your moccasins, ribbon skirts, ribbon shirts, beaded earrings and anything else you want to wear. If you want to carry a sign, there will be signmaking in Black Hall 105 beginning at 2 p.m.!

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