05.05.22

Daines, Tester Recognize National Day of Awareness for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls

Senators introduced resolution designating May 5 as a National Day of Awareness for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women (MMIW)

U.S. SENATE – U.S. Senators Steve Daines and Jon Tester marked the National Day of Awareness for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls after introducing their resolution designating May 5th earlier this week.

“While we must continue to shed light on the tragic Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls crisis that is plaguing Montana, our native communities and families, we must also continue working to find solutions,” Daines said. “Let us remember the countless lives lost due to this crisis, including Hanna Harris, who would’ve been 30 years old today.”

“Raising awareness about the MMIW epidemic in Montana and across the country is an important piece of the fight to combat violence against Indigenous women and girls,” Tester said. “We’ve got to keep working to improve and enforce public safety measures in Native American communities and hold violent offenders accountable. I’ll keep pushing to ensure that our law enforcement officers have the resources they need to target offenders and ensure survivors have access to critical services as they work to get back on their feet.” 

Daines also introduced this resolution in the 116th and 115th Congress.

Quotes of Support:

"The murder rate of Native women is more than ten times the national average in some tribal communities. Often, these disappearances or murders are connected to crimes of domestic and dating violence, sexual assault, stalking and sex trafficking. The intersection of gender-based violence and Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women is heavily intertwined. Our mothers and grandmothers took care of us with compassion and love. We must continue to raise our voices to help those missing, to stop the murders of our women, and find justice for those who did not survive. We don’t want to see any more women die, to see children watch their mothers killed, to meet our women coming home to our village in body bags. Until we reach the goals of the Not Invisible Act or Savanna's Act we will not stop our advocacy.  We need to continue to raise awareness and a call to action.  This resolution is an example of unfinished business." – Tami Truett Jerue, Executive Director, Alaska Native Women's Resource Center

"Whether the violence is coming from inside the home, or from strangers living near tribal communities or in urban centers, meaningful action must be taken to prevent more of our relatives from going missing or being murdered. Our relatives deserve justice. StrongHearts Native Helpline thanks Senator Daines for his work to bring awareness to the crisis of violence against Native people by introducing a resolution to designate May 5, 2022 as the National Day of Awareness for Missing and Murdered Native Women and Girls." – Lori Jump, Director, StrongHearts Native Helpline

" The MMIWBIKERUNUSA2021 team supports the families of Hanna Harris and Kaysera Stops Pretty Places, and all victims’ families of MMIW. Our hearts prayers continue to be with the over 18,619 missing humans. Our team supports all MMIW Advocates and movements to bring awareness and demand justice for victims’ families/communities. We are appreciative of the hard work of Senator Daines and Tribal Council Leaders and representatives and other key leaders in the legislative branch. We look forward to continued partnership and communication with Tribal Leaders, State officials, Tribal Elders and Youth to help end this unacceptable evil known as MMIW.  Our Native American women and all women are scared life givers they must be protected, honored and cherished." – MMIWBikeRunUSA  

“As the parent of a victim, I know all too well the pain that comes from the FBI’s persistent failure to investigate, and DOJ’s routine failures to prosecute. Indian Nations need to stand together and keep on fighting for what is right for our people. The MMIW crisis is real and is happening on a daily basis, local, state and federal need to be on the same page so our families don’t have to wonder why nothing is being done! The Fort Belknap Indian Community applauds Senator Daines’ efforts to shine light on continuing federal failures to protect Native American victims and families and to create real and lasting change that creates accountability and transparency and gets Indian Country law enforcement the resources we desperately need to keep our people safe and achieve justice for our missing and murdered relatives.” – President Stiffarm, Fort Belknap

"On behalf of the MT MIP Task Force and the CSKT MMIP Work Group, I would like to express our deepest gratitude to both Senator Tester and Senator Daines for co-sponsoring a resolution recognizing May 5th as National Day of Awareness for MMIW. It is so important for all of us to continue working together to address this crisis, to support those families who are currently struggling with the loss of a missing loved one and to remember all of those who have been found murdered." - Ellie Bundy, CSKT Tribal Council Treasurer, Presiding Officer of MT MIP Task Force & CSKT MMIP Work Group Member

“The National Day of Awareness for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG) provides a process for public healing and accountability. May 5 was the birthday of Hanna Harris, a 21 year-old Northern Cheyenne woman who disappeared from her home in Lame Deer, Montana in 2013. On this day, we honor Hanna and the countless American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian women and girls who have been murdered or have gone missing, as well as the families and communities who continue to seek justice. The National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center (NIWRC) applauds the designation of May 5, 2022 as the National Day of Awareness for MMIWG and we thank Senator Daines and Senator Tester for their efforts to bring attention to this crisis. We call on the world to organize for systemic change at the local, Tribal, state, national, and international levels to put an end to this violence.” - Lucy R. Simpson, Executive Director, National Indigenous Women's Resource Center (NIWRC)

"May 5 is an important day for all of Indian Country and is especially so for the Tribal people of Montana.  I have always taken any opportunity I can to let others that advancements of MMIW/P were initiated in Montana.  This is because of the efforts of the Tribal Nations and the grass roots families and friends of the victims of MMIW/P to educate our lawmakers and the receptiveness of Senators Jon Tester and Steve Daines culminating legislation and changes in policy."  Jean BearCrane, Executive Director, Montana Native Women’s Coalition (MNWC)

 

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Contact: Rachel Dumke,  Katie Schoettler