Ending Violence Against Native Women and Girls | Y Community Conversations

Last updated: November 19, 2021, at 9:24 a.m. PT

Originally published: November 19, 2021, at 9:24 a.m. PT

roslaie fish

Indigenous women and girls experience more violence than any other group in the US: homicide is the third-leading cause of death among Indigenous women and Native women and girls are murdered at rates more than 10 times the national average, according to federal data. 
It is estimated 80 percent of Native women have experienced some type of violence, which is twice as likely as white women. Rarely is justice served for Native women, with little attention to the issue there is little pressure on law enforcement to solve a case. The missing are assumed to have been killed, murdered, run away and are rarely investigated to conclusion. Further, there is an inherit bias of ‘othering’ Native peoples as not part of community, leading to less attention paid. A persistent myth that Native peoples only live on Native lands and reservations allows much of society to dismiss it as “their problem” to address, but the reality is only 22 percent of Indigenous peoples who are missing live on Native lands. The majority of America's Native population that goes missing live in cities (60 percent), with another 18 percent living in rural communities. 

A lack of attention and awareness can hinder aid and action, keep victims silent, and let victimizers carry on without being held accountable.  

Recent news coverage has reminded us once again of the split between attention paid to white victims and victims of color. "Missing White Woman Syndrome," a term popularized in 2004 by the late PBS NewsHour Anchor Gwen Ifill, is alive and well in 2021. In some communities for example, only 18 percent of Indigenous women and girls who are homicide victims get media coverage, while those same communities cover 51 percent for white female and male victims. 
Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women (MMIW) is a movement that advocates for the end of violence. Through advocacy, MMIW seeks to draw attention to the high rates of disappearances and murders of Native people, seek accountability from leaders and law enforcement, and bring justice and closure to families. 
Please join the Y and an esteemed panel of experts and Native voices on Monday, November 22nd, 5:00 – 6:00 pm, for “No more Silence,” our next Y Community Conversation.  

In conversation with:

  • Madrienne White - AO Board Member, Muckleshoot Tribal Member 
  • Deborah Parker - Legislative Policy Analyst, The Tulalip Tribes of Washington 
  • Duana Johnson - MMIWUSA Team Member, Colville/ Lakes Tribal Member 
  • Rosalie Fish - Runner, UW Track & Field Team, Cowlitz and Muckleshoot Tribes 

This event is virtual and free to attend. Together we will explore with Indigenous community leaders, members and MMIW experts what is happening currently to address MMIW and how we can all play a role in bringing justice to victims. 

We invite you to listen, learn, and find ways to take action in your local community. 
By joining us for this opportunity, you’ll help to amplify voices from the Native American and Indigenous communities and hold space for our community to learn and grow together. Register Today 

This Y Community Conversation is part of the Y’s series of events for Native American Heritage Month, created in partnership with the Y’s Indigenous staff and allies in collaboration with the YMCA of Greater Seattle’s Equity & Justice Center of Excellence, and made possible in part by our generous sponsors. Learn more about our work  

Thank you to our generous sponsors for helping make this event possible:  

  • City of Auburn 
  • Windermere Foundation 
  • Laird Norton Company  
  • Perkins Coie  
  • Bill and Paula Clapp 
  • Lorenzini Family Foundation 
  • Casey Family Programs 
  • Baird Private Wealth  
  • Northwestern Mutual 
  • Parker, Smith & Feek Inc 
  • Premera Blue Cross 
  • Puget Sound Energy 
  • PNC Bank 
  • Amazon 
  • Schultz Family Foundation  
  • Delta Air Lines 
  • Goldman Sachs 
  • Microsoft Corporation