Tester, Daines 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. Senators Jon Tester and Steve Daines today marked the National Day of Awareness for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls after introducing their resolution designating May 5th earlier this week.
The Senators’ resolution raises awareness, honors the Native American women who are missing or murdered, and identifies solutions to end this violent epidemic.
“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,” said Tester, a member and former Chairman of the Senate Indian Affairs Committee. “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.”
“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.”
“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)
Native American women and girls in Montana face a murder rate that is 10 times higher than the national average. According to the National Institute of Justice, more than 80 percent of Native American women have experienced violence and almost half have experienced it within the past year.