9:00–10:15 a.m., Friday April 8th, 2022
According to a 2019 report by the Minnesota Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women Task Force, Indigenous women make up less than one percent of Minnesota’s population, but nine percent of overall women and girl homicides in the state. Between 2012 and 2020, anywhere from 27 to 54 Indigenous women and girls were missing in any given month. However, their cases rarely garner the same attention as those of missing white women and girls.
Following a years-long campaign to raise awareness and champion reforms, in 2021, the Minnesota Legislature became the first state to create a dedicated Office of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Relatives (MMIR). This Office will seek to prevent and end the targeting of Indigenous women, children, and two-spirited people by creating recommendations for the legislature, researching and defining the problem, collecting data on MMIR, and facilitating assistance for Tribal and local law enforcement agencies, among many other things.
This panel seeks to explore this important issue by highlighting the gaps our current systems have when investigating missing Indigenous women, discussing how the Office seeks to bridge those gaps, surveying what work still needs to be done, and so much more.
This panel is co-sponsored by the Mitchell Hamline Native American Law Students Association (NALSA). A special thank you to NALSA President GeWaden Dunkley and Vice President Ashalon Goodrich for their support and creativity in approaching this conversation.
Nicole MartinRodgers & Virginia Pendleton, Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women Task Force: A Report to the Legislature, Wilder Research (December, 2020). https://dps.mn.gov/divisions/ojp/Documents/missing-murdered-indigenous-women-task-force-report.pdf.