According to the National Institute of Justice Report, 4 out of 5 Indigenous women have experienced violence.
The National Week of Awareness for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG) is dedicated to enabling action, and serving as a reminder of the numerous Indigenous women, girls, and two-spirit people whose unsolved cases are underrepresented in traditional media.
According to the Center for Disease Control, murder is the 3rd leading cause of death for Indigenous Women as they face murder rates 10 times the national average. Sadly, there is not much available data to track these statistics which further undercount the Indigenous population.
In 2020, Savannah’s Act became law, requiring the department of justice to review, revise and develop strategies and policies to address the vast amount of unsolved cases of indigenous missing and murdered people. But there is still more work to be done.
Centering Indigenous Voices
Critical in combatting the missing and murdered Indigenous people crisis is centering the voices of those most affected.
Kristin Welch of the Waking Women’s Healing Institute, Marianne Statz an expert in No Body Homicide and Sensitive Crimes Investigations, and Starla Thompson, an Indigenous educator, scholar, and advocate discuss the epidemic of missing and murdered Indigenous people. This project, Indigenous Voices on the MMIP Crisis: A Conversation and Resources, provides insights, resources, and steps to take thoughtful action to help.
Advocate for the Murdered and Missing
Working with case researchers, advocates, and the Purdue Forensic Science Club, the cases of 27 Indigenous people whose families are still searching for answers have been visualized for greater awareness. This is only a start and a small fraction of cases that can use your attention and the attention of everyone. If you are a family member or advocate and wish to have your loved one’s case added to the Uncovered database, please reach out and we can add it to our backlog for case visualization.
Know their stories, help keep them in the media, and help uncover answers:
- Alice Ida Looney | Found murdered on November 30, 2005 | Wapato, WA
- Alyssa McLemore | Missing since April 9, 2009 | Kent, WA
- Angela McConnell | Murdered on September 7, 2018 | Eureka, CA
- Ashley Loring HeavyRunner | Missing since June 5, 2017 | Browning, MT
- Aubrey Dameron | Missing since March 9, 2019 | Grove, OK
- Beverly Ozuna-Ulrich | Missing since October 17, 2003 | Belle Fourche, SD
- Brittany Locklear | Murdered on January 7, 1998 | Bowmore, NC
- Courtney Holden | Missing since July 1, 2018 | Spokane, WA
- Faith Hedgepeth | Murdered on September 7, 2012 | Durham, NC
- Freda Jane Knowshisgun | Missing since October 26, 2016 | Crow Agency, MT
- Jody Fern Howard | Missing since October 7, 1991 | Wolf Point, MT
- Jermain Charlo | Missing since June 16, 2018 | Missoula, MT
- Kaysera Stops Pretty Places | Murdered on August 29, 2019 | Hardin, MT
- Khadijah Britton | Missing since February 9, 2018 | Covelo, CA
- Larissa Lone Hill | Missing since October 3, 2016 | Rapid City, SD
- Olivia Lone Bear | Died under suspicious circumstances on October 24, 2017 | New Town, ND
- Ricarda Tillman-Locket | Missing since April 19, 2007 | Memphis, TN
- Robert Lyons | Missing since June 4, 2017 | Keshena, WI
- Rosalita Longee | Missing since June 30, 2015 | Wapato, WA
- Sandra Lee Smiscon | Murdered on July 12, 2003 | Seattle, WA
- Sharon Anderson | Missing since December 2, 2000 | Everett, WA
- Sherry Wounded Foot | Murdered on August 17, 2016 | Whiteclay, NE
- Susan Poupart | Murdered on May 20, 1990 | Lac du Flambeau, WI
- Victoria “Vicki” Eagleman | Murdered on July 28, 2006 | Lower Brule, SD
- Virginia Pictou-Noyes | Missing since April 24, 1993 | Houlton, ME
- Wendy Marie DeHoop | Missing since April 22, 2015 | Eugene, OR
- Wilhelmina Whitewater | Missing since July 31, 2018 | Tsalie, AZ
Take action during the 2022 National Week of Action for MMIWG—and beyond! Visit these case pages and help crowdsource gaps in the public timelines. Many of the cases of murdered and missing Indigenous people get little to no media attention. During this week of national action for MMIWG you can use your voice for others. Your attention and help to piece together details could potentially uncover answers in these cases. Using your network to share their story with others keeps them in the public and will help lead to more information and action!
Access the MMIW Toolkit
- Pocket Guide, When a Loved One Goes Missing – Understanding and Responding to the Crisis of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women
- Brochure, When a Loved One Goes Missing – A Quick Reference Guide for What to Do in the First 72 Hours
- Template, Missing Person Flyer
- Poster, Jurisdiction and Crime Victims’ Rights
- MMIW Jurisdiction Assessment Tool
- MMIW Database of Response Contacts
Listen, learn, and more
Indigenous content creators are a great place to hear stories and accounts firsthand; from podcasts to YouTube channels more and more outlets are created every day. Here is a small roundup.
Journalist Connie Walker’s serialized podcast Stolen: The Search for Jermain, follows the case of the still-unsolved disappearance of Jermain Charlo in Missoula, Montana; and shines a light on the fact that indigenous people are four times more likely to go missing in the state of Montana.
The Red Justice Project podcast works to bring awareness to the many, many cases of missing and murdered indigenous people in North America. Their team has tackled several cases with empathy and thoughtful details to continue to spread awareness. True Consequences hosted by Eric Landin shares stories of unsolved and lesser-known cases in the New Mexico area.
We Are Resilient: A MMIW True Crime Podcast is dedicated to telling the stories of missing & murdered Indigenous women. Stolen Sisters focuses on stories of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls; it’s presented by True Crime YouTuber, Kirsty Skye. Native Women Rising: Montana voices, hosted by Annie Belcourt examines how domestic violence can unfold; barriers to justice; discusses the impacts on survivors; and the many ways to advance healing from trauma.
Jasmine Castillo hosts Hands Off My Podcast, a true crime podcast for MMIWG2SR, LGBTQ, AAPI, BIPOC, and advocates that covers stories from families of lost loved ones and organizations that bring awareness to the forefront.
Additional tools and resources:
- Effective Use of the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (NamUs) for Case Resolution webinar
- Sovereign Bodies Institute webinars
- Resources related to Missing and Murdered Indigenous Persons MMIP (emphasis on Alaska)
- Unresolved Cases: A Review of Protocols and Resources for Supporting Investigations Involving American Indians and Alaska Natives
Organizations to follow and support:
- Waking Women Healing Institute
- National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center, Inc. (NIWRC)
- Urban Indian Health Institute
- Sovereign Bodies Institute
- HIR Wellness
Use your research skills to help the families of missing and murdered Indigenous people
Uncovered amassing the largest public database of unsolved cases of the murdered and missing with a focus on equity for cases that often go underreported and underrepresented in the media and the justice system. We’re using the power of collective impact to provide a voice for victims, answers for families, and ensure no one is just a statistic. Join our community to use your research skills to build digital case files.
Get started by helping source information related to tribal agencies overseeing missing and murdered Indigenous people cases. We know that there are nearly 150 agencies, but identifying contact information is incredibly difficult due to data deserts and access.
Together We Can Build a Community. Our team is taking publicly available data and creating timelines, pulling maps, organizing sources, and visualizing cold cases for more eyes and collective impact.
We're building a community for advocates, citizen detectives, and true crime enthusiasts to use your skills to crowdsource the gaps in unsolved cases to help uncover answers—join the Uncovered community!