Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women


Andrew James

Original Image Source: https://unsplash.com/photos/fVNCEtygXOA

Isabella Chavez, COLUMNIST

  A staggering 84% of Native American women experience forms of violence in their lifetime. The countless disappearances and deaths of Indigenous women are solemnly just the tip of the iceberg to this massive, widespread problem. 


   For decades now, many Native Americans who reside within the United States and Canada have endured unneeded, heartless, and belittling persecution towards them. In Australia, similar situations are also taking place. Innumerable names have piled up on the list of lives that have been deemed lost or missing. Where are all the Indigenous women going?


   It certainly and immediately became clear to me how undervalued the beautiful lives of Indigenous people have become. The constant fear that many Native Americans may experience on a day-to-day basis truly breaks my heart into a million pieces. 


   The horrible predicament that our Indigenous women and children are enduring is far worse than possibly imaginable. American Indian women constantly face murder rates that are 10 times the national average than other races and ethnicities. (csvanw.org) Stunning homicide rates found in American Indian and Alaskan Native women have quickly become the 3rd biggest factor of death amongst them.


   However, the notion that shocked me, even more, was the overall lack of attention that this issue is receiving nationwide. It’s especially crucial that local, state, and federal government officials put more effort and the much-needed resources into reducing and ending this issue completely. 


   It utterly appalled me that in some circumstances, when police departments receive emergency distresses about an Indigenous individual missing, they will sometimes result to the ideology that “they ran away and will come back soon.” In 2016 alone, there was a staggering 5,712 known cases of missing or murdered Native American women. Read that again. 5,712 lives that were forcefully taken away. Of those 5,712 missing women and girls, only 116 cases were actually logged into the US Department of Justice’s federal missing person’s database. (Urbanindianhealthinstitue.com)


 Just reading the statistics alone dismayed me completely. Nevertheless, this dreadful and careless rundown on Native Americans has proven to most certainly account for many cases to become cold and forgotten. Unnoticed and unreported. Many lives left to be ignored completely. Leaving numerous families without the justice they deserve for their lost loved ones. 

  It’s crystal clear to conclude that this isn’t a problem we should ditch or even bury away. This is a problem that needs to be addressed and tackled head-on.


  I knew instantly beyond a doubt the absolute importance of informing myself on how I can spread awareness. I firmly believe that there is an abundance of ways that we can assist our Indigenous sisters. The disproportionate rates at which Indigenous women are being raped, abused, murdered, and trafficked needs to come to stop, now. 


   This issue is occurring everywhere around us, yet it seems like in today’s society, many don’t realize the importance of getting involved to put an end to it. It’s time we ensure that we are out here, actively fighting for them constantly. Amplify all their voices and all their stories. Together we need to continue supporting and defending our Indigenous friends.


   I highly recommend taking the time to view the informational sources below. Please strive to get involved! Visit the website links below to help out Indigenous groups. Thank you.