CHEYENNE, Wyo. — Governor Mark Gordon has signed a proclamation declaring May 5 as Missing & Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls Awareness Day.
“The current reports of abduction and murder of Native women and girls are alarming and represent one of the most horrific aspects of the spectrum of violence committed against Native women,” said the Governor’s proclamation.
According to a 2020 statewide report, Indigenous people make up 21% of homicides in the state even though only 3% of the population is Indigenous.
“The murder rate of Native women is more than ten times the national average on some reservations; and these disappearances or murders are often connected to domestic violence, dating violence, sexual assault, stalking, and sex trafficking. The intersection of gender-based violence and MMIWG is heavily intertwined.”
Each year since 2017, May 5 has been recognized as the National Day of Awareness for Missing and Murdered Native Women and Girls. The Governor’s proclamation highlights the need for ongoing grassroots advocacy and changes to laws and policies to address the issue.
“A National Day of Awareness for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls will honor the lives of our Native sisters, and continue to shed light on the countless tragedies involving Native women.”
Gov. Gordon’s Missing & Murdered Indigenous Persons (“M&MIP”) Task Force was convened in 2019 to determine the scope of the problem in Wyoming and to recommend ways to begin addressing it.
In January of 2021, the Task Force released the first Missing and Murdered Indigenous Persons Statewide Report. The report found that homicide rates are eight times higher for indigenous persons than for white people in Wyoming. Families and victims also report experiencing barriers once a crime is reported, making it difficult to navigate investigative and enforcement processes which cross jurisdictional boundaries.
To read the Governor’s full proclamation click here.
About The Author
Buckrail @ Caroline
Caroline Chapman is a Community News Reporter who recently made Jackson home. Born and raised in Connecticut, she enjoys reading non-fiction, skiing, hiking, and playing piano in her downtime. She is most passionate about delivering and pursuing stories that directly impact the lives of individuals in the community. Her favorite aspect about living in Jackson is the genuine admiration that Wyomingites share for the land and the life that it sustains.
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