The Missing and Murdered Indigenous People Crisis

Dr. Mozelle Martin

Last week I was hanging out with the several investigators from the Missing and Murdered Unit of the Bureau of Indian Affairs. As an Arizona native with grandparents who lived just outside of the Sioux Reservations in the Midwest, I have frequented Native American events, visited Alaska several times, and have always respected the Native American culture.

We know that crime is rampant... we can't go to YouTube or any other social media location, turn on our local news, or even pick up a newspaper without being inundated with crime stories.

Yet, there is one thing we rarely hear about, and that is the Missing and Murdered Indigenous People Crisis.

Per the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA):

"For decades, Native American and Alaska Native communities have struggled with high rates of assault, abduction, and murder of women. Community advocates describe the crisis as a legacy of generations of government policies of forced removal, land seizures, and violence inflicted on Native peoples."

Sadly, over 84% of American Indian and Alaska Native women have experienced violence. Of those over 56% have experience sexual violence. This means that over 1.5 million American Indian and Alaska Native women have survived traumatic experiences.

While these rates are shocking, what's worse is that less than half of these crimes are ever reported to police, per the National Institute of Justice Centers (NIJC).

According to the National Crime Information Center (NCIC), out of nearly 6,000 reports of missing American Indian and Alaska Native women and girls, only listed 116 of them are listed in the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (NAMUS)

The Federal Government estimates rates of violence on reservations reach 10 times higher than national averages. There is no research at all on murder violence among American Indian and Alaska Native women living in urban areas even though 71% of these populations reside in urban areas.

Just as disturbing, there is no reliable count of how many Native women go missing or are killed each year. All too often, bodies of women that have been found are misclassified as Hispanic, Asian, or other racial categories. That's why thousands have not been listed as federally missing persons.

Approximately 1,500 American Indian and Alaska Native missing persons have been entered into the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) throughout the nation, and approximately 2,700 cases of Murder and Non-Negligent Homicide Offenses have been reported to the Federal Government’s Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program.

In total, the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) estimates there are approximately 4,200 missing and murdered cases that have gone unsolved.

According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Native American and Alaska Native rates of murder, rape, and violent crime are all higher than the national averages. This is considered the third leading cause of death for Native women.

But it's not just women. Data from the National Institute of Justice (NIJ) shows the American Indian and Alaska Native men have an abnormally high victimization rate, too. Sadly, over 81% have experienced violence as well.

Who is committing these crimes? Well that's what the BIA is assigned to find out. Please watch the video interview my friends did about this very topic on August 21, 2022.

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35-year Forensic Expert & Investigator @ www.FindMeGroup.org & www.ColdCaseFoundation.org / Ancient DNA & Inherited Traumas Nerd / Writer / Artist / Pianist / Author. Check references on website @ www.Forensology.com

Texas State
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