Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women


Layla Buckskin, Staff Reporter

The women that walk this earth are sacred to indigenous people. Not only are they our life givers, they are the platform on which we stand. Without them, we (indigenous people) simply wouldn’t exist. A sister, daughter, mother, aunt, or even a grandmother could go missing in just a blink of an eye. Native American women face a murder rate 6 times the national average. These women also haven’t gotten the same attention from police or media when they vanish. Specifically, the reasoning for this crisis is caused by prejudice, stereotypes, inaccurate beliefs and attitudes about Indigenous women and girls, and a person’s negative influence on police investigations. Therefore, death and disappearances are investigated and treated differently from other cases, which is still a reality for native people today. There was a confirmation of 582 cases which are a likely undercount of missing and murdered women. 67% of the 582 women have came up murdered, 20% missing, 4% are suspicious deaths, and 9% are unknown.

Being a Native American woman means you’re expected to live 5 years shorter than the average woman, you’re also 5 times more likely to be murdered and you report 3 times the level of violent discrimination, as well as 3 times more than likely to be living in unsafe housing areas such as the reservation. Living on a reservation makes you an easier target for abductors especially if you are a young Native American girl. In fact, that is where most of the MMIW cases are found. Researchers asked 71 cities in the U.S. for answers to why the federal departments aren’t involved much. However, they found more silence and confusion than answers. 60% of the police departments either didn’t respond or returned partial data with some cities reporting an inability to identify native victims. This is a reason for not having a dependable national data resource, regarding missing persons in Canada and the U.S. All in all, indigenous women all over the US and Canada receive little to no attention in today’s society. This has been a problem all over Indian country and recently it has gotten worse. Due to not having accurate data on all these cases, this causes for many unheard voices of the victims as well as their friends and family.