US President Biden declares May 5, 2021 as Missing and Murdered Indigenous Persons Awareness Day
US President Biden has proclaimed 5 May 2021 as Missing and Murdered Indigenous Persons Awareness Day on Tuesday, and vowed to prioritise the issue of kidnapped and murdered Native American women and girls.
“Our failure to allocate the necessary resources and muster the necessary commitment to addressing and preventing this ongoing tragedy not only demeans the dignity and humanity of each person who goes missing or is murdered, it sends pain and shockwaves across our Tribal communities,” he said in his presidential proclamation. “Our treaty and trust responsibilities to Tribal Nations require our best efforts, and our concern for the well-being of these fellow citizens require us to act with urgency.”
For the last few years, 5 May has been named National Day of Awareness for Missing and Murdered Native Women and Girls by advocates to shine a light on the staggering number of abducted and murdered Indigenous women and girls.
According to the US Justice Department, Native American women are murdered at a rate as high as 10 times more than the average US resident, and more than 4 in 5 Indigenous women have experienced violence in their lifetime.
Biden also committed to address the underlying causes of the high numbers of kidnapped and murdered Indigenous people, such as sexual violence, human trafficking, domestic violence, violent crime, systemic racism, economic disparities, and substance use and addiction.