A Voice For My Sisters


¨No Longer Silenced¨, an acrylic painting of MMIW awareness for Indigenous Peoples by Nizhoni Ward

Missing and Murdered Indigenous women have gone under the radar for too long. It’s time to actually do something about it,  America. 

Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, rather known as MMIW has always been an issue. There have been protests about MMIW, songs and organizations that bring awareness to it. However, there’s still not enough media coverage. MMIW is known as having a red hand print over your mouth. That represents the voices of these women being silenced over as the epidemic continues. Justice has still not been given to these Native American women and that’s infuriating. 

Recently, Congress has passed the Savanna Act. The Savanna Act allows reports on missing and murdered Native Americans, trained officials for enrollment of Native Americans, develop and enforce a knowledge of missing and murdered indigenous peoples and recording information on rural and urban natives.

According to Congress.gov, the bill was introduced to the senate on January 1, 2019, reported to senate on January 15, 2019, passed the senate on March 11, 2020 and passed the house on September 21, 2020. Only recently has the bill been signed by the President, Donald Trump, on October 11 2020. 

Finally, this bill was signed into law. And it happened just before Indigenous Peoples’ Day — a reminder that the U.S. government has so much more to do to repair the broken promises to Native communities.“ said North Dakota Sen. Heidi Heitkamp in an interview with USA Today. 

Many Indigenous people have been silenced and overspoken especially when it came to government officials. The history between Indigenous Peoples and America has always been shady. This may or may not be the reason for these people to be swept under the rug but it’s wrong. 

There are currently 5,712 cases of missing and murdered indigenous women who live off of native land. It’s so crazy how there are so many more cases but because of the immorality of America’s standards, those cases have not been approved or discovered. Most of the cases on native reservations have not been documented or are unknown.

Imagine having to constantly look over your shoulders for safety. No headphones or distractions as you’re alone. All of your family members tell you to be aware of your surroundings. Make sure you have protection on you just in case anything happens. Then that feeling of relief when you come home. This is what Indigenous women face everyday of their lives.

Most of these women are moms, sisters, aunts, grandmas, daughters and cousins. They have a family just as anyone does. It’s so inhumane for anyone to not want to help get the justice of these women and their families. No one deserves to be a statistic of the system when there needs to be something done.