Warren Joins Daines and Senate Colleagues in Reintroducing Resolution Designating May 5th as the National Day of Awareness for Missing and Murdered Native Women and Girls
United States Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.) today joined Senator Steve Daines (R-Mont.), along with Senators Jon Tester (D-Mont.), John Hoeven (R-N.D.), Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), James Lankford (R-Okla.), Tom Udall (D-N.M.), Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), Martha McSally (R-Ariz.), Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), and James Risch (R-Idaho), in reintroducing a Senate resolution marking May 5, 2020 as the National Day of Awareness for Missing and Murdered Native Women and Girls. The resolution brings awareness to the tragedies Native women face and commemorates the lives of missing and murdered American Indian and Alaska Native women whose cases are documented and undocumented in public records and the media.
"Today marks the National Day of Awareness for Missing and Murdered Native Women and Girls: a day of remembrance as we raise awareness and renew our commitment to ending the scourge of disappearances and murders of Native women," Senator Warren said. "These atrocious crimes against Native women demand our attention and federal action, and that includes passing Savanna's Act and reauthorizing and expanding the Violence Against Women Act."
Little data exist on the number of missing American Indian and Alaska Native women in the United States. However, the resolution still brings attention to the following:
According to a study commissioned by the Department of Justice, in some tribal communities, American Indian women face murder rates that are more than 10 times the national average murder rate; and
According to the most recently available data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2017, homicide was the sixth leading cause of death for American Indian and Alaska Native females between 1 and 44 years of age.
Senator Warren continues to work with her colleagues, tribal leaders, and advocates to address violence against Native women. In 2019 and 2018, she cosponsored similar resolutions to mark May 5 as the National Day of Awareness for Missing and Murdered Native Women and Girls. In November 2018, the senator called for better data and reporting to help address the crisis of missing and murdered indigenous women in urban Native areas, recognizing that the lack of tribal access to data poses an ongoing impediment for Native communities. She is a cosponsor of Senator Tester's Studying the Missing and Murdered Indian Crisis Act of 2019 (S. 336), and of Senator Murkowski's Savanna's Act (S. 227). When the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) was last reauthorized in 2013, she joined the call to ensure the law contained new safeguards for Native abuse victims. She cosponsored that reauthorization, which recognized tribal sovereignty in crucial new ways. However, VAWA expired last year, and Senator Warren is a cosponsor and strong supporter of Senator Dianne Feinstein's (D-Calif.) bill to reauthorize VAWA through 2024. This bill (S. 2843)--the Senate companion to legislation that has already passed the House of Representatives--contains important and robust tribal provisions.