UWSP hosts panel to bring awareness to Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women

Native American women are murdered at a rate of 10 times more than the national average.
Published: Apr. 12, 2022 at 9:50 PM CDT
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STEVENS POINT, Wis. (WSAW) - Bringing awareness to Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women (MMIW). That’s the goal of a panel held Tuesday night at UW-Stevens Point’s campus. Several tribal members talked about why this is a problem and how to find solutions.

Native American women are murdered at a rate of 10 times more than the national average. It’s a problem that’s gone on for years, but it’s also an issue that’s been greatly overlooked, with little to no change.

“For a very long time in history, it wasn’t talked about. It was just something that indigenous women lived with,” UWSP Native American Center Coordinator Rachel Davis said.

Indigenous women are more likely to experience violence than anyone else.

“We are all connected. Violence against one of us is violence against all of us,” Davis said.

Part of the problem is, there’s systemic barriers in having access to law enforcement. Many also suffer because of a lack of resources and the inability to report the issue.

“We need more visibility. We need to be heard, and we need to be seen. When an indigenous person goes missing, they are not reported and there is no coverage in the media,” Co-chair of Governor Tony Evers’ MMIW Task Force Skye Alloway said.

Alloway said Tuesday’s talk will help find solutions and figure out the causes. Alloway hopes to make change with state leaders.

“There really aren’t any policies specifically based around indigenous people in general, certainly not for indigenous women,” Alloway said.

Panelists from various tribes addressed the importance of ending the silence of the issue. The MMIW Task Force is working to create an alert system for missing indigenous women, similar to amber alerts.

“It’s just the beginning of what we all have been working so hard to do over these last couple of years,” Alloway said.

They say the best way you can help is to reach out to tribes to learn more. UWSP hopes to have more events in the future to bring awareness. Follow the link to the Wisconsin Department of Justice website for more information about the MMIW Task Force.

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