Indian Country 52 #43 – Justice for MMNAW
“During a congressional hearing, Heitkamp, D-N.D., addressed frustrations she hears from family members of women who have gone missing or were murdered and are still looking for answers, sometimes decades later.
“I’m just pleading for these crime victims and for their families,” Heitkamp said. “They should know where these cases are. They should know that someone is still looking for a loved one. They should know that someone is still looking for a perpetrator. And they don’t, and there’s nowhere to turn.”
The U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, led by Sen. John Hoeven, R-N.D., held a hearing on three bills, including Heitkamp’s Savanna’s Act that aims to bring justice for missing and murdered Native women.
The bill is named in honor of Savanna LaFontaine-Greywind, a member of the Spirit Lake Tribe who vanished in Fargo while eight months pregnant. Her body was found days later in the Red River.
Carmen O’Leary, director of the Native Women’s Society of the Great Plains in Eagle Butte, S.D., was among the witnesses who testified in favor of the bill, which would require data collection and remove barriers to help tribal law enforcement seek justice.”
– Bismarck Tribune, Senate hearing highlights lack of data on missing, murdered Native American women.
“It’s rare that a case like this got public attention, said Nicole Matthews, executive director of the Minnesota Indian Women’s Sexual Assault Coalition during a talk with MPR host Tom Weber.
“We’re not seen or heard from in the media when we go missing,” Matthews said. “I don’t think the question is whether or not [Greywind] was murdered because she’s a Native woman, I think the question is why is there an invisibility and why are Native women at higher risk for experiencing this type of violence.”
If you look at how many women are murdered or go missing across the country and compare Native communities to other populations, you’ll see a large disparity, Matthews said.
And those numbers are hard to find.”
– MPR News, Why do missing Native American women go unreported?.
Download the 18″x24″ poster (.pdf), Indian Country 52 #43 – Justice for MMNAW (Murdered and Missing Native American Women and Girls.
Indian Country 52
Indian Country 52 is a weekly project by David Bernie that uses the medium of posters that promote issues and stories in Indian Country. Follow the series: Indian Country 52
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