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Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women Awareness Day: Strengthening the Safety Net

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image with red hand over roses

I know this pandemic is on everyone’s minds right now, but there’s something else I want to help raise awareness about. Something many of you have probably never heard of—or thought about before. All week long, the City of Portland is recognizing and supporting efforts to acknowledge the epidemic of Missing & Murdered Indigenous Women (MMIW).

Too many Portlanders are unaware of the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women movement and the gravity of the issue. That’s why in City Council this week, we are issuing a proclamation declaring May 5th as the official Day of Awareness of Missing and Murdered American Indian and Alaska Native Women in the United States.

This humanitarian crisis has reached unprecedented levels on tribal lands and in urban areas such as the City of Portland. Four out of five native women have been affected by violence in their lifetime. In some tribal communities, American Indian and Alaska Native women face murder rates that are more than ten times the national average.

Locally, we are urging Portlanders to wear red on the fifth day of every month to show solidarity and to raise awareness about missing and murdered indigenous women. The City’s week-long observance—titled “Strengthening our Safety Net”—will include the following events:

  • Sunday, May 3: Beading is Medicine w/Brodie Sanchez – Via Facebook Live from PCC Multicultural Facebook page and Brodie Sanchez/ 4-6 p.m.
  • Monday, May 4: Strengthening the Safety Net Through Advocacy Panel – via Zoom/ 6-7 p.m.
  • Tuesday, May 5: Portland Community College Speakers Panel – Register at Eventbrite/ 3-5 p.m.
  • Wednesday, May 6: City of Portland MMIW Awareness day – Via virtual City Council viewing 9:30 a.m.
  • Wednesday, May 6: Preventing sex trafficking panel – via Zoom/ 6-7:30 p.m.
  • Thursday, May 7: Strengthening Law Enforcement to Address MMIW – via Zoom/ Noon – 1:30 p.m.
  • Friday, May 8: MMIW Self-Care day – via Zoom/ 3-4 p.m.

I want to personally thank the community members and organizations that came together to plan this week’s events. Special thanks to the following organizations

  • Portland State University Institute for Tribal Government
  • Native Wellness Institute
  • Northwest Portland Area Indian Health Board
  • Multnomah County Future Generations Collaborative
  • Native American Youth and Family Center
  • Northeast Coalition of Neighborhoods

Thank you for helping bring attention to this injustice.