Published July 2019
The President has declared May 5, 2019 as Missing and Murdered American Indians and Alaska Natives Awareness Day. American Indian and Alaska Native people face alarming levels of violence. Data from the National Institute of Justice and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention indicate that more than 1.5 million American Indian and Alaska Native women have experienced violence, including sexual violence, in their lifetimes. American Indian and Alaska Native children attempt and commit suicide at rates far higher than those in any other demographic in our Nation, and often endure disproportionately high rates of endemic drug abuse, violence, and crime.
The United States White House Proclamation states that:
“On Missing and Murdered American Indians and Alaska Natives Awareness Day, we draw attention to the horrible acts of violence committed against American Indian and Alaska Native people, particularly women and children. Too many American Indians and Alaska Natives are the victims of abuse, sexual exploitation, or murder — or are missing from their communities. Some of those missing may be victims of human trafficking. We must work together as a Nation to correct these injustices and ensure the safety of all Americans, particularly our most vulnerable populations.”
“Ending the violence that disproportionately affects American Indian and Alaska Native communities is imperative. Under my Administration, Federal agencies are working more comprehensively and more collaboratively to address violent crime in Indian country, to recover the American Indian and Alaska Native women and children who have gone missing, and to find justice for those who have been murdered. As a result of these ongoing efforts, we are improving public safety, we are expanding funding and training opportunities for law enforcement in Indian country, and we are better equipping them with tools like access to criminal databases. We have also established improved protocols based on our government-to-government relationships with the tribes, and have become more transparent and accountable in our efforts.”
“My Administration will continue working to root out injustice and protect each and every person in America. On Missing and Murdered American Indians and Alaska Natives Awareness Day, we pause to raise awareness of unacceptable acts of violence that profoundly harm American Indian and Alaska Native communities. As a Nation, we honor the lives of all missing and murdered American Indians and Alaska Natives, and we reaffirm our commitment to ensuring that violence against these vulnerable Americans shall not be overlooked or tolerated.”