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Mary Annette Pember: Awareness for missing and murdered sisters

Emily Blue Bird, a 24-year-old mother of two, was found dead in January 2016 after going missing on the Pine Ridge Reservation in South Dakota earlier in the month. The miniature dress shown here represents Blue Bird's Lakota name, which was Wicahpi Sakowin Win (Seven Stars Woman), and other missing and murdered sisters. Photo by Indianz.Com / Available for use under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License

Independent journalist Mary Annette Pember reports on efforts to raise awareness of missing and murdered Native women and girls:
On February 15, the National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center (NIWRC), the Indian Law Resource Center, and the Alaska Native Women’s Resource Center co-sponsored a congressional briefing in Washington, D.C., with Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK). The briefing, titled “Moving Ahead in Addressing Violence Against American Indian and Alaska Native Women and Efforts to Address Missing and Murdered Native Women and Girls,” provided an overview of the issue for legislators and the public.

“We all know someone,” said Tami Truett Jerue, executive director of the Alaska Native Women’s Resource Center during the briefing. She noted that although Alaska Natives are 16 percent of the population in Alaska, they make up 28 percent of the murder victims. (The statistics refer to all Alaska Natives, including women.)

The briefing corresponded with efforts by congressional representatives to declare May 5 as a National Day of Awareness for Missing and Murdered Native Women and Girls.

Montana Sens. Steve Daines (R) and Jon Tester (D) introduced Senate Resolution 60 on February 13. Sens. James Lankford (R-OK), Cory Gardner (R-CO), Al Franken (D-MN), John Hoeven (R-ND), and Tom Udall (D-NM) co-sponsored the resolution.

Read More on the Story:
Mary Annette Pember: ‘We All Know Someone’: Tribal Community, Advocates Seek to Honor Missing and Murdered Native American Women (Rewire 3/21)

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