Missing and murdered Indigenous women
The missing and murdered Indigenous women (MMIW) epidemic affects Indigenous peoples in Canada and the United States, including the First Nations, Inuit, Métis (FNIM), and Native American communities. It has been described as a Canadian national crisis and a Canadian genocide. A corresponding mass movement in the U.S. and Canada works to raise awareness of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls (MMIWG) through organized marches, community meetings, the building of databases, local city council meetings, tribal council meetings and domestic violence trainings for police.
Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women (and Girls)
|Abbreviation||MMIW or MMIWG|
|Formation||Canada and United States|
|Purpose||To increase awareness of disproportionate violence experienced by Indigenous women|
Responding to repeated calls from Indigenous groups, other activists, and non-governmental organizations, the Government of Canada under Prime Minister Justin Trudeau established the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls in September 2016. According to the April 22, 2016 background of the inquiry, between the years 1980 and 2012, Indigenous women and girls represented 16% of all female homicides in Canada, while constituting only 4% of the female population in Canada. A 2011 Statistics Canada report estimated that between 1997 and 2000, the rate of homicides for Aboriginal women and girls was almost seven times higher than that for other females. Compared to non-Indigenous women and girls, they were also "disproportionately affected by all forms of violence". They are also significantly over-represented among female Canadian homicide victims, and are far more likely than other women to go missing.
In the United States, Native American women are more than twice as likely to experience violence than any other demographic. One in three Native women is sexually assaulted during her life, and 67% of these assaults are perpetrated by non-Natives.[a] Lisa Brunner, executive director of Sacred Spirits First National Coalition states, "What's happened through US Federal law and policy is they created lands of impunity where this is like a playground for serial rapists, batterers, killers, whoever and our children aren't protected at all." The federal Violence Against Women Act (VAWA) was reauthorized in 2013, which for the first time gave tribes jurisdiction to investigate and prosecute felony domestic violence offenses involving both Native American and non-Native offenders on reservations.[b] In 2019 the Democratic House passed H.R. 1585 (Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2019) by a vote of 263–158, which increases tribes' prosecution rights much further. However, in the Republican Senate, its progress has stalled. Law enforcement, journalists, and activists in Indigenous communities – in both the US and Canada – have fought to bring awareness to this connection between sex trafficking, sexual harassment, sexual assault, and the women who go missing and are murdered.
The 2014 report "Missing and Murdered Aboriginal Women: A National Operational Overview" found that more than 1,000 Indigenous women were murdered over a span of thirty years. While homicides for non-Indigenous women declined between 1980 and 2015, the number of Indigenous women who were victims of homicide increased from 9% of all female homicide victims in 1980 to 24% in 2015.:55:24 From 2001 to 2015, the homicide rate for Indigenous women in Canada was almost six times as high as the homicide rate for non-Indigenous women, representing "4.82 per 100,000 population versus 0.82 per 100,000 population".:22 In Nunavut, Yukon, the Northwest Territories, and in the provinces of Manitoba, Alberta and Saskatchewan, this over-representation of Indigenous women among homicide victims was even higher.:22 In response to activists, the Canadian government-funded data collection on missing and murdered women, ending in 2010; the Native Women's Association of Canada has documented 582 cases since the 1960s, with 39% after 2000. Nevertheless, advocacy groups say that many more women have been missing, with the highest number of cases in British Columbia. Notable cases have included 19 women killed in the Highway of Tears murders, and some of the 49 women from the Vancouver area murdered by serial killer Robert Pickton.
As a group that has been "socially, economically, and politically marginalized", Indigenous women have been frequent targets for hatred and violence. Underlying factors such as poverty and homelessness contribute to their victimization, as do historical factors such as racism, sexism, and the legacy of colonialism. The trauma caused by abuses under Canada's residential school system also plays a role. Indigenous women are between 3 and 3.5 times more likely to be victims of violent crime than other women, and the violence they face is often more severe.
Statistics for CanadaEdit
One of the most significant findings of the June 2019 report, "National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls" was that there was no "reliable estimate of the numbers of missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA persons in Canada.":234
Canada did not maintain a database for missing people until 2010, which made it difficult to determine the rate at which Indigenous women are murdered or go missing, or to compare their data to those of other populations. The National Centre for Missing Persons and Unidentified Remains (NCMPUR) unit was established in 2010 in response to RCMP investigations of murdered and missing Indigenous women, particularly in relation to what became known as the "Highway of Tears" — an area of intersecting highways around Highway 16 in British Columbia. In order to track a national picture of missing persons across Canada, the RCMP created the Missing Children, Persons and unidentified Remains (MCPIR) unit and developed an algorithm to collect and collate "all missing persons reports and related reports filed by police across Canada" into the Canadian Police Information Centre (CPIC). Since 2010, NC/MPUR has publishes the NCMPUR Fast Fact Sheet providing a "national breakdown of missing persons reports by province, age (child or adult), sex, and probable cause".
Various groups have collected data from different periods of time and different criteria. Available data suggest, however, that the number of missing and murdered Indigenous women is disproportionately high compared to their percentage of the total population.
From 1980 and 2012, Indigenous women and girls represented 16% of all female homicides in Canada while representing only 4% of the female population in Canada. A 2011 Statistics Canada report estimated that between 1997 and 2000, the rate of homicides for Indigenous women was almost seven times higher than other women.:43 According to a 2007 study by the province of Saskatchewan – the only province to have systematically reviewed its missing persons files for cases involving Indigenous women – Indigenous women were found to have made up 6% of the province's population, and 60% of the province's missing women cases.
While homicides for non-Indigenous women declined between 1980 and 2015, the number of Indigenous women who were victims of homicide increased from 9% of all female homicide victims in 1980, to 24% in 2015.:55:24 From 2001 to 2015, the homicide rate for Indigenous women in Canada was almost six times as high as the homicide rate for non-Indigenous women, representing "4.82 per 100,000 population versus 0.82 per 100,000 population".:22 In Nunavut, the Yukon, the Northwest Territories, and in the provinces of Manitoba, Alberta and Saskatchewan, this over-representation of Indigenous women among homicide victims was even higher.:22
According to a database compiled as part of a 2013 Ph.D. thesis, from 1946 to 2013, there were 824 missing or murdered Indigenous women identified. The RCMP's 2014 National Overview said that the "number grew to almost 1,200 between 1980 and 2012."
In late 2013, the Commissioner of the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) initiated a study of reported cases of missing and murdered Indigenous women across all police jurisdictions in Canada. The result of the inquiry was a 2014 report ordered by the Stephen Harper administration, which stated that 1,181 Indigenous women were killed or went missing across the country between 1980 and 2012. The report entitled "Missing and Murdered Aboriginal Women: A National Operational Overview", was released on May 27, 2014 and dated back to 1951.:6 The 2014 National Operational Overview reported that, over a 33 year period (1980–2012) there were 1,181 incidents, there were 225 unsolved cases. 80 percent of all female homicides (Indigenous and non-Indigenous) were solved. Of the cases analyzed by the RCMP, 67% were murder victims, 20% were missing persons, 4% were suspicious deaths, and 9% were unknown.:6
In 2015, the RCMP published an updated report which showed that murder rates and the percentage solved (80%) were essentially unchanged since the 2014 report. The 2015 Update reported that there were "106 unsolved homicide cases and 98 unsolved missing cases (unknown or foul play suspected circumstances) remain outstanding. The reduction from 225 unsolved cases to 204 this past year represents an overall resolution rate of 9.3%: 11.7% for homicides and 6.7% for missing Aboriginal females.":6 The RCMP study was mostly limited to crimes committed in areas policed by the RCMP as the 2015 Update did not include homicide data from the "over 300 non-RCMP police agencies" that was included in the 2014 Overview.:3
One of the most significant FDRP findings, as part of the final report of the National Inquiry, concerned the 2014 and 2015 RCMP reports which "identif[ied] narrow and incomplete causes of homicides of Indigenous women and girls in Canada".:234
The Conservative federal government under Prime Minister Stephen Harper, and Bernard Valcourt, who served as federal Minister of Aboriginal Affairs and Northern Development from 2013 to 2015, had rejected calls for an inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women, saying that there had been enough studies undertaken. They said they were addressing the problem "through broad public safety and criminal justice measures."
Valcourt said in the fall of 2015, that the "deaths and disappearances came down to a lack of respect among aboriginal men on reserves for aboriginal women, and urged chiefs and councils to take action." During a private meeting between Valcourt and chiefs held on March 20, 2015 in Calgary, Valcourt released the statistics from the 2015 RCMP report. He infuriated the chiefs when he said that "up to 70 per cent of the murdered and missing indigenous women stems from their own communities", basing his claim on the conclusions of the 2015 RCMP report.:249
In response to Valcourt's March 20, 2015 statement, Chief Marshall, Bernice Marshall sent an official request to the RCMP on March 26, 2015, in which she asked for the 2015 "Royal Canadian Mounted Police (RCMP) report on Missing and Murdered Aboriginal Women", as well as access to data from the National Centre for Missing Persons and Unidentified Remains (NCMPUR).[c] In his April 7, 2015 response to Marshall's request, then-RCMP commissioner, Bob Paulson, said that while the May 27, 2014 report was online, the RCMP did not have the authority to release NCMPUR data. He added that the RCMP does not disclose statistics on the ethnicity of perpetrators under the Access to Information Act, to respect their "bias-free policing policy" as publicizing "ethnicity of [offenders] has the potential to stigmatize and marginalize vulnerable populations". Paulson then confirmed the statistics cited by Valcourt, saying that "The consolidated data from the nearly 300 contributing police agencies have confirmed that 70% of the offenders were of Aboriginal origin, 25% were non-aboriginal, and 5% were of unknown ethnicity. However, it is not the ethnicity of the offender that is relevant, but rather the relationship between victim and offender that guides our focus with respect to prevention...Aboriginal females were killed by a spouse, family member or intimate relation in 62% of cases; similarly, non-aboriginal females were killed by a spouse, family member or intimate relation in 74% of occurrences. Female homicide across all ethnicities is inextricably linked to familial and spousal violence; it is for this reason that RCMP analysis and prevention efforts have focussed on the relationship between the victim and offender." Paulson copied this letter to Bernard Valcourt, then-Minister of Indian and Northern Development, Jim Prentice, then-Premier of Alberta, Michelle Moody-Itwaru[d] of the Assembly of First Nations (AFN), and Lorna Martin of the Native Women's Association of Canada.
One of the major findings of the 2016–2019 National Inquiry's forensic audit by the FDRP team based on the analysis of police records and reports, hundreds of documents, and thousands of files—a number of which that were subpoenaed, was that the "often-cited statistic that Indigenous men are responsible for 70% of murders of Indigenous women and girls is not factually based".:249 According to the June 3, 2019 National Inquiry final report, "the statistics relied on in the RCMP’s 2015 Report are inaccurate and provide a misleading picture of the relationship between offenders and victims in cases of homicides of Indigenous females. The empirical basis for the claim set out in the 2015 Report is an analysis of the narrow statistical data on 32 homicides of Indigenous women and girls within RCMP jurisdiction in 2013 and 2014.":249
The Native Women's Association of Canada's (NWAC) database which they created with federal funding in 2005 to track, 2010 reported in 2010 that from the 1960s to 2010 there were 582 missing and murdered. This was the first time a number had been given based on research.:12 but they believe there are many more.
"Gladys Radek, co-founder of Walk 4 Justice, said her group collected the names while speaking to people during a trek across Canada in 2008. They stopped collecting information in 2011." Further, "When CBC News contacted one of the activists who supplied NWAC with the information, she said "roughly 60 to 70 per cent" of the 4,000 or so people on her list were Indigenous."
According to a February 16, 2016, CBC News article, Canada's minister for the status of women, Patty Hajdu said that, based on the Native Women's Association of Canada (NWAC) report, and originally collected by the 2008 Walk 4 Justice initiative, the estimated number of Indigenous women and girls who have gone missing or have been murdered in Canada since the 1970s is uncertain, could be as high as 4,000. The RCMP report estimated the number was approximately 1,000. CBC News reported on February 16, 2016, that, "Activists working for the Walk 4 Justice initiative started collecting the names of indigenous women who are missing or murdered — they stopped counting when they got to 4,232." Hajdu said that historically there had been under-reporting by law enforcement of cases of murdered or missing Indigenous women.
In the CBC investigative report, "Missing & Murdered: The Unsolved Cases of Indigenous Women and Girls", an interactive database was created that included more than 300 persons of unsolved cases of missing and murdered Indigenous women by February 2016. CBC investigated 34 cases in which families disagreed with authorities' determination that no foul play was involved; it found "suspicious circumstances, unexplained bruises and other factors that suggest further investigation is warranted".
In Canada, according to activists "thousands of cases" of missing and murdered Indigenous women over the last half-century were not properly investigated due to alleged police bias. The 49 women murdered by serial killer Robert Pickton, who was eventually jailed in 2007, are cited as an example; with families claiming that Pickton was able to go on killing for so long because police had not taken the disappearances seriously because most of the women were sex workers and Indigenous.
Highway of TearsEdit
The term "Highway of Tears" refers to the 700-kilometre stretch of Highway 16 from Prince George to Prince Rupert, British Columbia, which since 1969 has been the site of the murder and disappearance of a number of mainly Indigenous women. Government organizations and Indigenous organizations have different estimates of the number of victims along the highway, with police identifying 18 murders and disappearances, 13 of them teenagers, and other organizations placing the number as closer to 40. A reason for this numerical discrepancy is that for a disappearance or murder to be included in the RCMP’s E-Pana project statistics, the RCMP requires for the crime to have happened within a mile of Highway 16, 97, or 5; their count rejects all cases that take place elsewhere along the route.
Many people hitchhike along this stretch of highway because they do not own cars and there is a lack of public transit. The Highway of Tears murders have led to initiatives by the British Columbia government to dissuade women from hitchhiking, such as billboards along the highway warning women of the potential risks. Numerous documentaries have focused on the victims associated with this highway. The Canadian media often refer to the highway in coverage of missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls, and Two-Spirit people in Canada.
The RCMP in British Columbia launched Project E-Pana in 2005, in response to the Highway of Tear's crisis. It initiated an investigation of 9 murdered women, launching a task force in 2006. In 2007 it added an additional 9 cases, which include cases of both murdered and missing women along Highways 16, 97 and 5. The task force consists of more than 50 investigators, and cases include those from the years 1969 to 2006.
Canadian National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and GirlsEdit
After the 2015 Canadian federal election, the Liberal Government upheld their campaign promise and announced the initiation of a national inquiry on December 8, 2015. The Canadian government had pre-inquiry meetings with a variety of people including families, front-line workers, representatives of the provinces and Indigenous organizations from December 2015 through February 2016, in order to determine how to structure the inquiry. The mandate of the inquiry and the projected length of time of the inquiry were published on August 3, 2016. The estimated cost is $53.8 million. In addition, the government announced $16.17 million over four years to create family information liaison units in each province and territory.
The inquiry was established as independent from the Government of Canada, and five commissioners were appointed to oversee the independent inquiry process: Marion Buller (chief commissioner), Michèle Audette, Qajaq Robinson, Marilyn Poitras, and Brian Eyolfson. An interim report was expected from the Inquiry in November 2017. The initial conclusion date for the inquiry was set as December 31, 2018; however, in May 2017 the Chief Commissioner of the inquiry said the inquiry might seek an extension from the federal government.
After the first public hearing in April 2017, complaints by observers started to arise about the inquiry's terms of reference, its composition and administration, and a perceived lack of transparency. Evidence was taken from 50 witnesses during the first hearings at Whitehorse, Yukon, over three days in May 2017.
In July 2017, the Assembly of First Nations asked the Federal Government to reset the inquiry, revisit its mandate, and extend its timeline to allow more data gathering. Throughout 2017 a number of key staffers left the inquiry. Executive director Michèle Moreau announced in June that she would leave her position at the end of July 2017. In July 2017 Marilyn Poitras resigned as a commissioner. She said in her resignation letter to the Prime Minister,
It is clear to me that I am unable to perform my duties as a commissioner with the process designed in its current structure ... I believe this opportunity to engage community on the place and treatment of Indigenous women is extremely important and necessary. It is time for Canada to face this relationship and repair it.
On August 8, 2017, Waneek Horn-Miller, the inquiry's director of community relations, stepped down, and on October 8, 2017, CBC News reported that the Inquiry's lead lawyer and research director had also resigned.
In October 2018, the Inquiry announced the last of its public hearing dates, following which the commissioners would write a final report and submit recommendations to the Canadian government by April 30, 2019.
Final report June 3, 2019Edit
"Throughout this report, and as witnesses shared, we convey truths about state actions and inactions rooted in colonialism and colonial ideologies, built on the presumption of superiority, and utilized to maintain power and control over the land and the people by oppression and, in many cases, by eliminating them."— Reclaiming Power and Place: The Final Report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls. June 3, 2019. Page 54
The final report, entitled "Reclaiming Power and Place: The Final Report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls", which consists of volumes 1a and 1b, was released on June 3, 2019. In Volume 1a, , Marion Buller, the inquiry's chief commissioner, said that the high level of violence directed at FNIM women and girls is "caused by state actions and inactions rooted in colonialism and colonial ideologies."
In preparation for the final report and to fulfill their mandate, the Commission held numerous gatherings and 24 hearings across Canada, collected statements from 750 people, held institutional visits in eight correctional facilities, led four Guided Dialogues, and held eight validation meetings.:4 In fifteen Community Hearings, there were four hundred and sixty-eight family members and survivors of violence and, overall, 2,380 people participated. There were "147 private, or in-camera, sessions" where more than "270 family members and survivors shared their stories." There were 819 people whose creative artistic expressions of 819 people "became part of the National Inquiry’s Legacy Archive". The Inquiry also consulted "84 Expert Witnesses, Elders and Knowledge Keepers, front-line workers, and officials provided testimony in nine Institutional and Expert and Knowledge Keeper Hearings".:49
Forensic Document Review Project (FDRP)Edit
In response to the overwhelming concerns expressed by the families who gave testimonies to the National Inquiry, who believed that police investigations were "flawed" and that police services "had failed in their duty to properly investigate the crimes committed against them or their loved ones", Forensic Document Review Project (FDRP) was established to "review of police and other related institutional files".:233 There were two FDRP teams, one for Quebec and one for the rest of Canada. The second team reviewed subpoenaed 28 police forces, issued 30 subpoenas, reviewed 35 reports, obtained and analyzed 174 files consisting of 136,834 Documents representing 593,921 pages.:233
One of the most significant findings identified by the Forensic Document Review Project (FDRP) was the fact that there was no "reliable estimate of the numbers of missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA persons in Canada." The second finding of significance concerned the 2014 and 2015 RCMP reports on missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls" which "identif[ied] narrow and incomplete causes of homicides of Indigenous women and girls in Canada". Thirdly, the FDRP said that "often-cited statistic that Indigenous men are responsible for 70% of murders of Indigenous women and girls is not factually based. Fourth, "Virtually no information was found with respect to either the numbers or causes of missing and murdered Métis and Inuit women and girls and Indigenous 2SLGBTQQIA persons". Fifth, "Indigenous communities, particularly in remote areas, are under-prioritized and under-resourced". Sixth, "[t]here is a lack of communication to families and Indigenous communities by police services and a lack of trust of the police by Indigenous communities." Seventh, "[t]here continues to be a lack of communication with and coordination between the police and other service agencies". Eighth, [d]eaths and disappearances of Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA people are marked by indifference. Specifically, prejudice, stereotypes, and inaccurate beliefs and attitudes about Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA persons negatively influence police investigations, and therefore death and disappearances are investigated and treated differently from other cases".:234
A number of the Calls for Justice address issues related specifically to children and youth. Section 2 (Calls for Justice for All Governments: Culture) calls upon governments to…
- Acknowledge the rights of Indigenous Peoples in terms of their culture as an inherent right
- Recognize Indigenous languages as official languages
- Make funds available to support the restoration of Indigenous cultures
- Create educational opportunities that incorporate Indigenous language
- Educate the general public and those within social services about Anti-Racism and Anti-Sexism and implement social movements based on confronting stereotypes
- Support the increase in representation of Indigenous Peoples in media
Sections 12.5 to 12.10 of the Call for Social Work and those implicated in child welfare introduce the themes of financial support, welfare services, access to their culture, advocacy as some of the most significant calls for action.
- Provide financial support of resources and specialized care provided by the government to family or community members of missing children and murdered indigenous women
- Child welfare services will ensure a family member or close friend will care for Indigenous Children. The new caregivers then receive financial support equal to the amount of a foster family.
- All levels of government must ensure that Indigenous children have access to culture and language programs that align with their cultures
- Provincial and territorial governments urged to put a halt to the culturally based targeted practice of taking away Indigenous children from mothers/families by the state via hospital/birth alerts and put in welfare system due to Eurocentric ideas values
- Final report states that within one year of advocacy and accountability need to be addressed for indigenous children and youth. Recommend that each jurisdiction appoint a Child and Youth Advocate
- The immediate adoption of Canadian Human Rights Tribunal 2017 CHRT 14 to implement Jordan’s Principle by federal, provincial and territorial governments in regards to all First Nations, Métis, and Inuit children.
A Call for all Canadians
Section 15 calls for participation from all Canadians. Within the eight subsections, it establishes that these are actions that are taken by citizens and not the state. This includes places such as the home, the workplace, and the classroom. Some of the actions listed in Section 15 that can be carried out by Canadians include:
- Speaking out against violence against Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA people
- Acknowledging and celebrating indigenous peoples' history, cultures, pride, and diversity
- Reading and understanding the final report itself and acknowledge the land lived upon
- Allowing for Indigenous girls and women to generate their individual self-determined solutions.
Canadian genocide of Indigenous PeoplesEdit
"The truths shared in these National Inquiry hearings tell the story – or, more accurately, thousands of stories – of acts of genocide against Indigenous women, girls, and 2SLGBTQQIA people."— Reclaiming Power and Place: The Final Report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls. June 3, 2019. page 50.
The chief commissioner, Marion Buller, said there is an ongoing "deliberate, race, identity and gender-based genocide."
The MMIWG inquiry report cited the work of Raphael Lemkin (1900–1959), who coined the term "genocide". Lemkin had explained that genocide does not exclusively mean the "immediate destruction of a nation" but signifies "a coordinated plan of different actions aiming at the destruction of essential foundations of the life of national groups, with the aim of annihilating the groups themselves.":50–1 According to a Global News article, Canada's 2000 Crimes Against Humanity and War Crimes Act "offers a broader definition, saying genocide can encompass not only acts of commission, but 'omission' as well."
A supplemental report of the "Canadian genocide of Indigenous Peoples according to the legal definition of 'genocide,'" was announced in Reclaiming Power and Place by the National Inquiry because of its gravity.
On June 3, 2019 Luis Almagro, Organization of American States (OAS) secretary-general asked to Foreign Affairs Minister Chrystia Freeland to support the creation of an independent probe into the MMIWG allegation of Canadian 'genocide' since Canada had previously supported "probes of atrocities in other countries" such as Nicaragua in 2018.
On June 4, in Vancouver, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said that "Earlier this morning, the national inquiry formally presented their final report, in which they found that the tragic violence that Indigenous women and girls have experienced amounts to genocide."
On June 9, Conservative Party Leader Andrew Scheer denied the use of the word genocide saying, "I believe that the tragedy that has happened to this vulnerable section of our society is its own thing. I don’t believe it falls into the category, to the definition of genocide."
Statistics for the United StatesEdit
Similar to Canada's situation, specific data on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women (MMIW) in the United States has also been difficult to gather. Contributing to this difficulty is the fact that many times when Indigenous women and girls go missing, or when Indigenous murder victims are unidentified, forensic evidence has not been accurately collected or preserved by local law enforcement. Cases have been allowed to quickly go "cold", and crucial evidence has been "lost", or never forwarded on from local law enforcement to the appropriate agencies.
Between 1992–1996, even though Indigenous women experienced similar or more rates of assault and crime, they were less likely to be reported.
As these cases go unreported, it allowed violence and murder to be inaccurately represented in statistical data against Indigenous women, but it has also allowed aggressors to go unpunished. Multiple groups have attempted to represent more accurate statistic or bring to light the lack of record-keeping by law enforcement, such as the Bureau of Justice Statistics.
From 2010 to 2018, in the US urban communities where most incidents occur, 71 communities were observed and data gathered. In those 71 cities, 506 cases were reported. Of the 506 cases, 128 or 25% were reported missing, 280 or 56% were murdered, and 98 or 19% are still unknown.
The disproportionate rate of assault to indigenous women is due to a variety of causes, including but not limited to the historical legal inability of tribes to prosecute on their own on the reservation. The federal Violence Against Women Act was reauthorized in 2013, which for the first time gave tribes jurisdiction to investigate and prosecute felony domestic violence offenses involving Native American and non-Native offenders on the reservation, as 26% of Natives live on reservations. In 2019 the House passed H.R. 1585 (Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2019) by a vote of 263–158, which increases tribes' prosecution rights much further. However in the Senate its progress has stalled.
Activism and proposed legislation has drawn the issue of MMIW to the attention of some lawmakers. In 2018 and 2019 many US states, including Washington, Minnesota, and Arizona have begun to take steps toward passing legislation to increase awareness of this issue and take steps toward building databases to reflect accurate statistics regarding missing and murdered indigenous women and girls.
According to the Supreme Court ruling in Oliphant v. Suquamish Indian Tribe (1978), tribal courts do not hold any jurisdictional powers over non-American Indians and Alaska Natives and therefore cannot prosecute or punish them for their crimes on reservations. Additionally, the Indian Civil Rights Act of 1968 limits the maximum punishment for any crime to a $5000 fine and up to one year in prison. All violent felonies committed on tribal lands can be prosecuted by the federal government through the FBI, because of the federal government's relationship with the sovereign tribal nations. Outside of Alaska, California, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Oregon, and Nebraska (States where Public Law 280 applies), state and county authorities do not have criminal jurisdiction on reservations. Bachman believes that this split in authority creates problems as law enforcement departments compete over jurisdictional powers based on the nature of the crime. This lowers the overall effectiveness of law enforcement, and provides enough immunity to non-citizens of the tribes (usually members of the dominant culture) for such crimes to have become commonplace. As noted in the movie, the FBI does not keep data on missing indigenous women.
National Day of Awareness for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and GirlsEdit
The US declared May 5, 2018, as a national day of awareness in order to raise concern for the crisis, and refocus attention on issues affecting Indigenous women. It hopes to improve relations between the federal and tribal governments.
Washington State House Bill 2951Edit
Effective May 7, 2018, this bill orders an inquiry into how to increase rates of reporting for missing Native American women in the state of Washington. The Washington State Patrol was given a deadline of June 1, 2019, to report to the legislature its results of the study. This includes analysis and data on the number of missing women in the state, barriers to use state resources, as well as recommendations on how to overcome them.
House of Representatives Bill 1585Edit
On March 7, 2019, Congress introduced this bill in the House of Representatives and this bill was to reauthorize the Violence Against Women Act of 1994 and other specific reasons.
Arizona State House Bill 2570Edit
On March 11, 2019, the Arizona State Legislature, House of Representatives passed Arizona House Bill 2570 “Establishing a Study Committee on Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls.” If approved in the Senate, the bill would seek to “establish a study committee to conduct a comprehensive study to determine how the State of Arizona can reduce and end violence against indigenous women and girls…” The study committee would establish methods for tracking and collecting data, reviewing policies and procedures, reviewing prosecutorial trends, gather data on violence, identify barriers to providing more state resources, propose measures, as well as propose legislation to address the issues identified.
The bill known as Savanna's Act was initially introduced in Congress in October 2017 by former Senator Heidi Heitkamp, but later reintroduced in January 2019 by Senator Lisa Murkowski. The purpose of Savanna's Act is to increase cooperation and coordination between “Federal, State, Tribal, and local law enforcement agencies” as this has been one of the major barriers to developing an accurate database. This bill would also implement training for Tribal agencies from the Attorney General as well as improve tribal access to databases (including the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System). In addition, data collection will be increased so that statistics more accurately represent missing and murdered indigenous women. This bill was read twice in Congress and referred to the Committee on Indian Affairs where it currently sits.
Presidential Task Force on Missing and Murdered American Indians and Alaska NativesEdit
Executive Order 13898, signed by President Trump, formed the Task Force known as Operation Lady Justice. The Presidential Task Force on Missing and Murdered American Indians and Alaska Natives exists to address concerns of these communities regarding missing and murdered women and girls.  The task force was first authorized in November 2019 and strives to improve the criminal justice response to American Indian and Alaska Natives experiencing violence. Operation Lady Justice is co-chaired by Tara Sweeney (designee for the Secretory of the Interior) and Katharine Sullivan (designee for Attorney General). Additional members are Terry Wade, Laura Rogers, Charles Addington, Trent Shores, and Jean Hovland.  Executive Director Marcia Good will assist the Operation Lady Justice task force.  The Operation Lady Justice Task Force has specific mission objectives and must submit a written report to the President by November 26, 2020 to include accomplishments and recommended future activities. 
Indigenous activists have been organizing protests and vigils relating to missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls, and two-spirit individuals for decades. The Native Women's Association of Canada was one of many organizations that created a database of missing and murdered Indigenous women. The community-based activist groups Families of Sisters in Spirit and No More Silence have also been gathering the names of missing and murdered Indigenous women since 2005. In 2015 the Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada's Calls to Action also called for the federal government to establish a public inquiry into the issues of MMIW. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced the inquiry in December 2015.
Women's Memorial MarchEdit
The first Women's Memorial March was on February 14, Valentine's Day, 1991, in Downtown Eastside, Vancouver, an area notable for having numerous missing or murdered Indigenous women. The march was in response to the murder of a Coast Salish woman. The annual marches were intended to commemorate Indigenous women who have been murdered or have gone missing in order to build support for a national inquiry and program of response.
In 2016 the government announced it would undertake such an inquiry. During the annual Vancouver march, the committee and public stop at the sites where the women were last seen or known to have been murdered, holding a moment of silence as a sign of respect. The committee has drawn attention to the issue locally, nationally, and internationally. The committee is made up of family members, front-line workers, close friends, and loved ones who have suffered the losses of Indigenous women during recent decades.
This event has expanded. As of 2017, it was held annually on Valentine's Day in more than 22 communities across North America. The march intends to break down barriers among populations and raise awareness about the racial stereotypes and stigmas that contribute to the high rate of missing and murdered Indigenous women in Canada.
Sisters in Spirit VigilsEdit
In 2002, the Native Women's Association of Canada (NWAC), Amnesty International Canada, KAIROS, Elizabeth Fry Society, and the Anglican Church of Canada formed the National Coalition for our Stolen Sisters, an initiative designed to raise awareness about the MMIW crisis in Canada. In 2005 Indigenous women founded Sisters in Spirit, a research, education and policy program run by Indigenous women, with a focus on raising awareness about violence against Indigenous women, girls, and two-spirit persons. Sisters in Spirit collected the details of almost 600 cases of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women in Canada, including some historical cases that were not accepted by police, and cases where police closed the book on a woman's death despite lingering questions from family members. This was the first database of its kind in Canada in terms of its detail and scope, however the federal government stopped funding the program in 2010. Critics of the cut say it was meant to silence the Native Women's Association of Canada, the group behind the database. However, Sisters in Spirit vigils continue to be held across Canada every year on the 4th of October.
Bridget Tolley founded the Sisters in Spirit vigils in 2005 to honour of the lives of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls and two-spirit persons. This annual event is organized in partnership with the NWAC. In 2006, 11 vigils were held across the country and in 2014, there were 216 vigils. The annual Fort St. John, British Columbia vigil has been taking place since 2008, honouring missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls in northeast British Columbia. Sisters in Spirit continue to hold an annual, national vigil on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Ontario, Canada.
Families of Sisters in SpiritEdit
In 2011 Bridget Tolley cofounded Families of Sisters in Spirit (FSIS) in response to the funding cuts to Sisters in Spirit. FSIS is a grassroots group led by Indigenous women dedicated to seeking justice for missing Indigenous women, girls, and two-spirit persons through public awareness and advocacy. FSIS differs from Sisters in Spirit insofar as FSIS is fully autonomous, all-volunteer, and accepts no government funding. Tolley is Algonquin from the Kitigan Zibi Anishinabeg First Nation. Her activism began after her mother, Gladys Tolley, was struck and killed by a Sûreté du Québec police cruiser while walking across a two-lane highway on the Kitigan Zibi-Anishinabeg First Nation on October 5, 2001. A police investigation into her death revealed no wrongdoing and deemed the case an accident. However, Tolley claims police failed to inform her family that her mother's case was closed, and that Montreal police were brought in even though the local Kitigan Zibi police department had jurisdiction over the scene and should have been called to secure it. Bridget Tolley has since campaigned for justice for her mother, demanding her case be reopened and subject to an independent investigation by the Province of Quebec. She remains a committed activist for social justice regarding police violence, education, housing, and child welfare.
Drag the RedEdit
In 2014, the body of 15-year-old Tina Fontaine was found dumped in the Red River in Manitoba, wrapped in a plastic bag and weighted down with stones. Since then, volunteer teams have gathered in boats to search the Winnipeg waterways for the remains of other missing and murdered women, girls, and men, in hopes of finding justice, or at least closure, for their grieving families and friends. Disposal of victims in water is a common tactic used by assailants, as water often washes away the forensic evidence necessary for a conviction.
The REDress Project is a public art installation dedicated to the remembrance of the Missing and Murdered Indigenous women. It consists of red dresses, hanging or laid flat in public spaces, with each empty dress symbolizing one of the missing and murdered. Canadian Jaime Black (Métis) began the project in 2000. She told CTV News that "a friend of [hers], who is also an aboriginal, explained that red was the only colour spirits could see.
The REDress Project has been displayed at the campuses of the universities of Winnipeg, Saskatchewan, Kamloops, Alberta, Toronto, the University of Western Ontario and Queen's University as well as the Manitoba Legislature, and the Canadian Museum of Human Rights.
Walking with Our SistersEdit
Walking with Our Sisters is a community-based art installation, commemorating murdered or missing women and children from Indigenous communities. The project is community-led, from the creation of the piece to the facilitation of the exhibit at different sites. The hope is to raise awareness on this issue and create a space for dialogue-based community discussions on this issue. It is a solely volunteer initiative.
The art project is a collection of moccasin vamps. A vamp is the extra layer of leather for the top lip of the moccasin, which is usually decorated with beadwork or quillwork in traditional patterns from the Indigenous woman's culture. The installation has more than 1763 pairs of adult vamps and 108 pairs for children. Each pair is custom made for each individual woman reported missing. The vamps from unfinished moccasins represent the unfinished lives of the missing or murdered women.
The project began in 2012, with a call to action issued on Facebook. People were asked to design and create these moccasin tops for their missing and murdered loved ones. By July 2013, the project leaders had received 1,600 vamps, more than tripling their initial goal of 600. Men, women, and children of all backgrounds responded to the call and became active in the project.
This installation consists of these moccasin vamps ceremonially placed on the floor of a public space in a sacred manner. It travels to select galleries and art exhibition halls. Patrons are asked to take off their shoes and respectfully walk alongside the vamps in the gallery, to ensure that the people they represent are not forgotten, and to show solidarity with the missing or murdered women. Booked until 2019, the installation is scheduled for 25 locations across North America.
Faceless Dolls ProjectEdit
Begun by the Native Women's Association of Canada (NWAC) in 2012, the Faceless Dolls Project encourages people to make dolls to represent missing and murdered women, and those affected by violence. The dolls are designed as "a process of reconstructing identity" for women who lose individuality in becoming victims of crime. The first dolls were made to commemorate the 582 MMIW documented by the Association. They are intended as an artistic reminder of the lives and identities of the affected women and girls. NWAC has brought this art project to universities and communities across Canada, where participants join in making dolls as a form of activism and raising awareness of the issue of MMIW.
Tanya Tagaq honors the MMIWEdit
Inuksuit stone monumentsEdit
Since late 2015 Kristen Villebrun, a local activist in Hamilton, Ontario, and about ten other Indigenous women have been constructing inuksuit stone monuments on the Chedoke Radial Trail. An inuksuk (plural inuksuit) is a human-built stone structure commonly used for navigation or as trail markers. Inuksuk translates to "in the likeness of a human". The Chedoke Radial trail connects to the Chedoke Creek, a watercourse in Hamilton.
The women began the project in October 2015 when they noticed that shadows cast by previously constructed inuksuit on the trail were lifelike and reminiscent of women. These activists saw an opportunity to use these structures as a way of drawing attention to the issue of the missing women. They have constructed 1,181 inuksuit, working for six hours a day, four days a week. The project has attracted many questions, with hundreds of people stopping to inquire about the inuksuit. The women welcomed the questions, and they announced their intention to continue to build the female inuksuit until the government undertook an official inquiry into missing Indigenous women. In December 2015 Prime Minister Justin Trudeau announced he would initiate such an inquiry.
Missing & MurderedEdit
In October 2016 journalist Connie Walker and the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation launched a podcast titled Who Killed Alberta Williams? The eight-part podcast examines the missing and murdered Indigenous women crisis in Canada though the lens of a specific case, the murder of Alberta Williams in 1989 along the Highway of Tears in British Columbia. The series was nominated for a Webby Award.
In 2018, another season of the series profiled the case of Cleo Nicotine Semaganis.
In 2019 the podcast True Consequences covered the missing and murdered indigenous women and girls issues in an interview with Cheyenne Antonio from the Coalition to Stop Violence Against Native Women.
Big Green SkyEdit
Big Green Sky is a play commissioned and produced by Windsor Feminist Theatre (WFT), which debuted in May 2016 in Windsor Ontario. It was prompted by the outrage over the acquittal of Bradley Barton in his trial for the sexual assault and murder of Cindy Gladue. This play is a direct result of reaching out to Muriel Stanley Venne, Chair of the Aboriginal Commission on Human Rights and Justice, and President of the Institute for the Advancement of Aboriginal Women. Venne's report was submitted to United Nations rapporteur James Anaya. Venne created her report because she wanted to "influence decision-makers who have become very complacent and unconcerned about the lives of Indigenous women in our country."
The play is centred around an RCMP officer who is new to the area. She goes up North to see the aurora borealis or Northern Lights (the "green sky" of the title). While there, she finds out about the MMIW situation – a crisis that, she is shocked to realize, can be so deeply interwoven into the daily lives of so many (FNIM) people, while remaining almost invisible (or at least ignored) by the mainstream population of the country. The play is being gifted by the WFT to any organization or individual wishing to bring awareness to this issue. It is being distributed without royalty fees, providing that all revenues and fundraising efforts be donated to local First Nations, Inuit or Métis (FNIM) women's initiatives.
Wind River is a 2017 neo-Western murder mystery film starring Jeremy Renner and Elizabeth Olsen as a white U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service tracker and a white FBI agent, respectively, who try to solve the murder of an Indigenous woman on the Wind River Indian Reservation in Wyoming. Gil Birmingham, Jon Bernthal, Graham Greene and Kelsey Chow also star.
In a High Country News article titled "Why do white writers keep making films about Indian Country?", Native reviewer Jason Asenap criticizes the film for perpetuating the "dying Indians" motif:
"at least in Hollywood, the Indians die. To this day, the Indians die, and not just physically, but culturally. Simpson and Sheridan are invested in making us see how America has screwed Native people, but to the point of rubbing it in our faces. Is it so terrible to live in one’s own homeland? It may be hard to get out, but it certainly feels condescending for a non-Native to write as much."
Documentary filmmaker Kim O'Bomsawin released the documentary film Quiet Killing (Ce silence qui tue) in 2018. The film won the Donald Brittain Award for Best Social or Political Documentary Program at the 7th Canadian Screen Awards.
- Native Americans constituted 0.7% of U.S. population in 2015.
- 26% of Natives live on reservations.
- The National Centre for Missing Persons and Unidentified Remains (NCMPUR) is "Canada's national centre that provides law enforcement, medical examiners and chief coroners with specialized investigative services in support of missing persons and unidentified remains investigations".
- Michelle Moody-Itwaru became Executive Coordinator at National Inquiry Into Missing and Murdered Women in Canada
- Heitkamp, Heidi. "Missing & Murdered Indigenous Women: Resources & Information". Archived from the original on September 21, 2018. Retrieved October 31, 2017.
In 2016, North Dakota alone had 125 cases of missing Native women reported to the National Crime Information Center (NCIC), compared to 5,712 total Native women cases reported in the United States. However, the actual number is likely much higher, as cases of missing Native women and girls are often under-reported and the data has never been officially collected.Heidi Heitkamp Senator of North Dakota
- Gambino, Lauren (March 7, 2019). "REDress exhibit highlights epidemic of missing and murdered indigenous women". The Guardian.
- "Rep. Haaland addresses Congress on epidemic of missing, endangered indigenous women". KRQE Media. March 14, 2019.
- Hopkins, Ruth (September 11, 2018). "When the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women Crisis Hits Home". Teen Vogue.
With issues concerning jurisdictional power and poor communication between families and local, state, tribal, and federal authorities contribute to the epidemic of missing and murdered Indigenous women.
- Krishnan, Manisha (August 3, 2016). "Here's What the Missing And Murdered Indigenous Women Inquiry is Missing". Vice News. Retrieved October 25, 2017.
After years of debate and inaction, the Canadian government has finally launched an inquiry into the national crisis of missing and murdered Indigenous women.
- Walker, Connie (April 10, 2016). "Missing, murdered aboriginal women crisis demands a look at root causes". CBC News. Retrieved October 25, 2017.
- Bailey, Jane; Shayan, Sara (2016). "Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women Crisis: Technological Dimensions". Canadian Journal of Women and the Law. 28 (2): 321–341. doi:10.3138/cjwl.28.2.321. Retrieved October 25, 2017.
- Barrera, Jorge (May 31, 2019). "National inquiry calls murders and disappearances of Indigenous women a 'Canadian genocide'". CBC News. Retrieved June 5, 2019.
- Dalton, Jane (June 1, 2019). "Murdered and missing women and girls in Canada tragedy is genocide rooted in colonialism, official inquiry finds". The Independent. Retrieved June 2, 2019.
State ‘actions and inactions and ideology’ blamed for allowing attackers to get away with violence over nearly 50 years
- Austen, Ian; Bilefsky, Dan (June 3, 2019). "Canadian Inquiry Calls Killings of Indigenous Women Genocide". The New York Times. Retrieved June 4, 2019.
- Abedi, Maham (June 4, 2019). "Why 'genocide' was used in the MMIWG report". Global News. Retrieved June 8, 2019.
- Reclaiming Power and Place: The Final Report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (PDF) (Report). 1a. p. 728. ISBN 978-0-660-29274-8. CP32-163/2-1-2019E-PDF
- Baker, Carrie N. (December 2, 2019). "Making Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls Visible". Ms. magazine. Retrieved February 28, 2020.
- "About Us — National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls". National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls. Archived from the original on April 23, 2018. Retrieved October 31, 2017.
- Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada (April 22, 2016). "Background on the inquiry". www.aadnc-aandc.gc.ca. Archived from the original on September 13, 2017. Retrieved June 5, 2019.
- O’Donnell, Vivian; Wallace, Susan (July 2011). First Nations, Inuit and Métis Women (PDF). Statistics Canada (Report). Women in Canada: A Gender based Statistical Report. p. 49. ISBN 978-1-100-17400-6.
- "Disproportionate number of women killed in Canada aboriginal: RCMP". Global News. May 16, 2014.
- D'Aliesio, Renata (September 4, 2017). "Missing, murdered Indigenous women inquiry to ask for more time". The Globe and Mail.
- "True Consequences: Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls". trueconsequences.libsyn.com. Retrieved December 24, 2019.
- Policy Insights – Brief Statistics on Violence Against Native Women (PDF). NCAI Policy Research Center. 2013. p. 4.
A previously reported statistic that, “Among [American Indian and Alaska Native] victims of rape or sexual assault, 86 percent described the offender as non‐Indian” is accurate according to Perry’s analysis (2004) in American Indians and Crime: A BJS Statistical Profile, 1992–2002. However, Perry’s analysis includes reports by both Native men and women victims of rape or sexual assault. Given this brief’s focus on violence against Native women, we include the updated rate of 67 percent reported by Native women victims of rape or sexual assault indicated in Bachman, et al., (2008).
- Rosay, André B. (May 2016). "Violence Against American Indian and Alaska Native Women and Men: 2010 Findings From the National Intimate Partner and Sexual Violence Survey" (PDF). National Criminal Justice Reference Service (NCJRS). National Institute of Justice. p. 56. Retrieved January 12, 2020.
Table A.5: American Indian or Alaska Native Female Victims: Sexual violence in lifetime by interracial perpetrator confidence interval (likelihood) weighted estimate (weighed based on percentage of population) 91.9% to 100.5% and intraracial perpetrator 10.8% to 30.4%
- Roe, Bubar; Jumper Thurman, Pamela (2004). "Violence against native women". Social Justice. 31 (4 ): 70–86. JSTOR 29768276.
Natives are more likely to be victims of crime than are any other group in the United States. People of a different race committed 70% of violent victimizations against Natives. The report also notes the rate of violent crime experienced by Native women between 1992 and 1996 was nearly 50% higher than that reported by African American males, long known to experience very high rates of violent victimization. According to the Department of Justice, 70% of sexual assaults of Native women are never reported, which suggests that the number of violent victimizations of Native women is higher (Ibid.).CS1 maint: ref=harv (link)
- Chekuru, Kavitha (March 6, 2013). "Sexual violence scars Native American Women". Al Jazeera. Retrieved May 9, 2016.
According to the Department of Justice, 86 percent of rapes and sexual assaults against Native American women are committed by non-Native American men.
- "ACS Demographic and Housing Estimates – 2011–2015". U.S. Census Bureau. Archived from the original on February 13, 2020. Retrieved December 23, 2019.
- Waghorn, Dominic (April 6, 2015). "Law Targets Abuse Of Native American Women". Sky News. Sky UK. Retrieved January 12, 2020.
- Cook, Andrea J. (April 1, 2015). "Tribal leaders urged to apply Violence Against Women Act". Rapid City Journal. Retrieved January 11, 2020.
- Milke, Mark (January 12, 2013). "Increasing number of Aboriginals choose not to live on reserves". Calgary Herald and Regina Leader Post. Retrieved December 23, 2019.
- Willis, Jay (December 13, 2019). "Why Can't the Senate Pass the Violence Against Women Act?". GQ. Retrieved January 11, 2020.
- Wood, Tyesha M. "Sex Trafficking & Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women – How Education can keep our communities safe" (PDF). acl.gov. Retrieved October 28, 2019.
Intersection between Sex Trafficking and MMIW&C
- Martin, Nick (October 15, 2019). "The Connection Between Pipelines and Sexual Violence – Attempts to address the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women Crisis could be counteracted by the problems "man camps" cause for reservation communities". The New Republic. Retrieved October 28, 2019.
A number of studies, reports, and congressional hearings now connect man camps—which can be used in mines and other extractive efforts as well—with increased rates of sexual violence and sex trafficking. ... The most well-documented cases thus far have occurred in the Tar Sands region of Alberta, Canada, as well as in western North Dakota and eastern Montana—an area known otherwise as the Bakken oil fields—though such activity is in no way exclusive to the region.
- CTV News Montreal (October 15, 2019). "Rape, murder and harassment: Painful stories shared at MMIWG hearings in Quebec". CTV News. Retrieved October 28, 2019.
Dozens of families travelled to the Innu community of Mani-Utenam near Sept-Iles to share their emotional stories, many opening up about allegations of rape, murder, and harassment at the hands of police.
- Mahony, Tina Hotton; Jacob, Joanna; Hobson, Heather (June 6, 2017). Women and the Criminal Justice System (PDF) (Report). Women in Canada: A Gender-based Statistical Report. Statistics Canada. p. 42. ISSN 1719-4407. Retrieved June 5, 2017.
- Our Women and Girls are Sacred (PDF). National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (Report). Interim report. 2017. p. 111. ISBN 978-0-660-09755-8. Retrieved June 6, 2019.
- Harper, Anita (Winter 2006). "Is Canada Peaceful and Safe for Aboriginal Women?". Canadian Woman Studies. 25: 33–38
- Harper, Anita (Winter 2006).
- "True Consequences: Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls". trueconsequences.libsyn.com. Retrieved December 24, 2019.
- Cogan, Marin (July 6, 2016). "The Vanishing of Canada's First Nations Women". Foreign Policy.
- "Background". National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls. Retrieved February 10, 2017.
- "Violent victimization of Aboriginal women in the Canadian provinces, 2009". www.statcan.gc.ca.
- "Violent victimization of Aboriginal women in the Canadian provinces, 2009". www.statcan.gc.ca. Retrieved March 7, 2018.
- Reclaiming Power and Place: The Final Report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (PDF) (Report). 1b. p. 65. ISBN 978-0-660-30489-2. CP32-163/2-2-2019E
- "Missing persons by the numbers". Niagara Falls Review. January 11, 2017. Retrieved June 7, 2019.
- "National Centre for Missing Persons and Unidentified Remains (NCMPUR)". Royal Canadian Mounted Police. April 6, 2018. Retrieved June 7, 2019.
- "Introduction". Canada's Missing. Government of Canada. 2017. Retrieved January 14, 2019.
- "Fact Sheet: Missing and Murdered Aboriginal Women and Girls" (PDF). Native Women's Association of Canada. Retrieved May 19, 2016.
- "Violence Against Indigenous Women and Girls in Canada" (PDF). www.amnesty.ca. 2014. Retrieved May 2, 2019.
- "Saskatchewan Provincial Partnership Committee on Missing Persons, Final Report, October 2007" (PDF).
- "RCMP Report 2014". May 27, 2014. Archived from the original on May 10, 2016.
- "Missing and Murdered Aboriginal Women: A National Operational Overview". Missing and Murdered Aboriginal Women: A National Operational Overview. RCMP. Archived from the original on May 10, 2016. Retrieved May 19, 2016.
- Missing and Murdered Aboriginal Women: 2015 Update to the National Operational Overview (Report). Royal Canadian Mounted Police. June 19, 2015. p. 21. ISBN 978-0-660-02478-3. Retrieved June 8, 2019.
- Galloway, Gloria (April 9, 2015). "70 per cent of murdered aboriginal women killed by indigenous men: RCMP". The Globe and Mail.
- Barrera, Jorge (June 2, 2019). "Former Harper-era minister doubles down on calling MMIWG national inquiry report 'propagandist'". CBC. Retrieved June 2, 2019.
The report also criticized Valcourt for claiming while he was minister that 70 per cent of homicides of Indigenous women were caused by Indigenous men. The report said the RCMP data used by Valcourt to make the claim was flawed and inaccurate.
- Paris, Max (April 10, 2011). "RCMP says 7 of 10 female aboriginal homicides committed by aboriginal offenders". CBC News. Retrieved June 3, 2019.
Top Mountie Bob Paulson provided the statistics to aboriginal leaders and politicians
- "Letter from RCMP Commissioner Bob Paulson to Grand Chief Bernice Martial (Grand Chief of Treaty No.6 and Chief of Cold Lake First Nation)" (PDF). April 7, 2015. Retrieved June 7, 2019.
- Rhoad, Meghan (2013). Those who take us away: abusive policing and failures in protection of indigenous women and girls in Northern Birtish Columbia, Canada (PDF). Human Rights Watch (HRW). New York, NY: Human Rights Watch (HRW). ISBN 978-1-56432-985-1.
- Tasker, John Paul (February 16, 2016). "Confusion reigns over number of missing, murdered indigenous women – RCMP said 1,017 indigenous women were killed between 1980 and 2012;, activists say it's closer to 4,000". CBC News. Retrieved October 15, 2017.
- "Violence against Indigenous Women and Girls in Canada: a Summary of Amnesty International's Concerns and Call to Action – February 2014" (PDF).
- Guardian Staff (February 16, 2016). "A Canadian government minister has suggested that as many as 4,000 indigenous women have gone missing or been murdered over the past three decades". The Guardian. Retrieved October 23, 2017.
Walk 4 Justice initiative had collected at least 4,232 names of missing or murdered indigenous women
- Tasker, John Paul (February 16, 2016). "Confusion reigns over number of missing, murdered indigenous women: RCMP said 1,017 indigenous women were killed between 1980 and 2012, activists say it's closer to 4,000". CBC News. Retrieved June 6, 2019.
- "Unresolved Case Closed or Murder?: These are the cases authorities say do not involve foul play". Missing and Murdered Aboriginal Women. CBS News. Retrieved April 21, 2017.
- Moore, Holly; Troian, Martha (June 28, 2016). "'No foul play' found in deaths of dozens of Indigenous women, but questions remain". CBC News. Retrieved June 6, 2019.
- Lee, Miyoung (November 17, 2009). "BC's infamous 'Highway of Tears'". CBC Digital Archives. CBS News. Retrieved December 10, 2009.
- Pelisek, Christine (July 10, 2011). "Highway of Vanishing Women". Daily Beast.
- Morton, Katherine (2016). "Hitchhiking and missing and murdered indigenous women: a critical discourse analysis of billboards on the Highway of Tears". Canadian Journal of Sociology. 41 (3): 299–325. doi:10.29173/cjs28261.
- "Project E-PANA: Missing Women (photos)". Royal Canadian Mounted Police in British Columbia. Retrieved November 3, 2018.
- "National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls". Government of Canada. Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada. November 27, 2015. Retrieved May 19, 2016.
- "About the commissioners". Indigenous and Northern Affairs Canada. October 11, 2016. Archived from the original on August 6, 2016. Retrieved February 10, 2017.
- Tasker, John Paul (May 19, 2017). "MMIWG chief commissioner still has 'hope' despite rocky start". CBC News. Retrieved October 18, 2017.
- Hutchinson, Brian (May 8, 2017). "Canada's MMIW inquiry is falling apart before it even begins". Macleans.
- Fontaine, Tim (June 1, 2017). "Missing and murdered inquiry wraps emotional 1st hearings in Whitehorse". CBS News.
- MacDonald, Nancy (September 13, 2017). "Inside the meltdown of Canada's inquiry into missing and murdered Indigenous women". Macleans.ca. Retrieved October 18, 2017.
- Sterritt, Angela (June 15, 2017). "4th staffer leaves MMIWG inquiry commission amid calls for reform". CBC News. Retrieved July 11, 2017.
- Porter, Jody (June 14, 2017). "Tanya Kappo resigns from MMIWG national inquiry staff". CBC News. Retrieved July 11, 2017.
- Talaga, Tanya (June 30, 2017). "Executive director of murdered and missing Indigenous women and girls inquiry resigns". Toronto Star. Retrieved July 11, 2017.
- Harris, Kathleen (July 11, 2017). "Missing and murdered inquiry to forge ahead despite resignation of key commissioner". CBC News. Retrieved July 11, 2017.
- Galloway, Gloria (July 11, 2017). "MMIW commissioner Marilyn Poitras resigns in another blow to inquiry". The Globe and Mail. Retrieved July 11, 2017.
- Harris, Kathleen (August 8, 2017). "MMIWG loses another key staffer as families slam 'colonial' inquiry process, demand hard reset". CBC News. Retrieved August 8, 2017.
- Grabish, Austin (October 8, 2017). "MMIWG inquiry losing 2 more staffers". CBC News. Retrieved October 8, 2017.
- "National MMIWG Inquiry sets dates for final submissions". APTN News. October 10, 2018. Retrieved October 24, 2018.
- Martens, Kathleen (June 3, 2019). Inquiry says Canadians must 'unlearn some learned behaviors' in final report. APTN News (Report). Retrieved June 5, 2019.
- McIntosh, Emma (June 7, 2019). "We fact-checked a viral claim about who's killing MMIWG. It was wrong". National Observer. Retrieved June 8, 2019.
- "Nova Scotia Rainbow Action Project (NSRAP)". Retrieved June 5, 2019.
2SLGBTQIA+ refers to "Two-Spirited, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex, Asexual & Aromantic, Intersex, and beyond (2SLGBTQIA+) Community".
- Ivison, John (June 4, 2019). "At MMIW report's heart, a contradiction that's impossible to ignore". National Post. Retrieved June 7, 2019.
- Lemkin, Raphael (1944). Axis Rule in Occupied Europe: Laws of Occupation, Analysis of Government, Proposals for Redress. Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, Division of International Law. Washington, DC.
- Connolly, Amanda (June 8, 2019). "Organization of American States wants to probe MMIWG allegation of 'genocide'". Global News. Retrieved June 8, 2019.
- Breen, Kerri. "Andrew Scheer rejects use of 'genocide' in reference to Indigenous women, girls". Global News. Retrieved June 10, 2019.
- "True Consequences: Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls". trueconsequences.libsyn.com. Retrieved December 24, 2019.
- "Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women & Girls" (PDF). Urban Indian Health Institute. Retrieved March 28, 2019.
- "American Indians and Crime" (PDF). Bureau of Justice Statistics. 1999. Retrieved May 3, 2019.
- "Off Campus Access". login.mctproxy.mnpals.net.
- Bachman, Ronet; Zaykowski, Heather; Kallmyer, Rachel; Poteyeva, Margarita; Lanier, Christina (August 2008). Violence against American Indian and Alaska Native women and the criminal justice response: what is known (PDF). National Institute of Justice. Retrieved May 10, 2016. NCJ 245615
- "HF 70". January 17, 2019.
- "HOUSE BILL 2570".
- "Washington State House Bill 2951" (PDF).
- "Violence Against American Indian and Alaska Native Women and Men". National Institute of Justice. Retrieved November 6, 2018.
- Ronet Bachman, Heather Zaykowski, Rachel Kallmyer, Margarita Poteyeva, Christina Lanier. "Violence Against American Indian and Alaska Native Women and the Criminal Justice Response: What is Known" (PDF). US Department of Justice.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
- Sullivan, Katharine (May 4, 2018). "Recognizing the National Day of Awareness for Missing and Murdered Native Women and Girls". Retrieved November 6, 2018.
- "Washington State Legislature". apps2.leg.wa.gov. Retrieved November 6, 2018.
- "Substitute House Bill 2951" (PDF). February 12, 2018.
- "H.R.1585 – Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2019". Congress.gov. March 27, 2019. Retrieved March 28, 2019.
- "Arizona House Bill 2570". April 4, 2019.
- "Murkowski, Cortez Masto Reintroduce Savanna's Act". Lisa Murkowski. January 28, 2019.
- Murkowski, Lisa (January 25, 2019). "Text – S. 227–116th Congress (2019–2020): Savanna's Act". www.congress.gov.
- "Executive Order on Establishing the Task Force on Missing and Murdered American Indians and Alaska Natives". The White House. Retrieved April 9, 2020. This article incorporates text from this source, which is in the public domain.
- Gibson, Emma. "Listening session scheduled about missing and murdered Indigenous people". news.azpm.org. Retrieved May 26, 2020.
- Ebbs, Stephanie (January 29, 2020). "Trump administration launches task force on missing, murdered indigenous peoples: 'Operation Lady Justice'". ABC News. Retrieved May 26, 2020.
- "'We're back again. We want justice': Activists hold a vigil on Parliament Hill for missing and murdered women". CBC. October 4, 2016. Retrieved December 20, 2016.
- "Background". It Starts With Us – Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women. Retrieved December 20, 2016.[permanent dead link]
- "Honouring The Lives Of Missing And Murdered Indigenous Women". It Starts With Us – Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women. Retrieved December 20, 2016.
- Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada: Calls to Action (PDF). Winnipeg, Manitoba: Truth and Reconciliation Commission of Canada. 2015. p. 4. Archived from the original (PDF) on June 15, 2015. Retrieved February 10, 2017.
- "26th Annual Feb 14th Women's Memorial March". Feb 14th Annual Women's Memorial March. Ajik. Retrieved February 4, 2016.
- "Women's memorial march in Vancouver attracts hundreds". CBC News British Columbia. CBC News. Retrieved February 4, 2016.
- "Annual Women's Memorial March". CBC Player. CBC News. Retrieved February 4, 2016.
- Siebert, Amanda (February 9, 2017). "Why the way we remember missing and murdered women of the Downtown Eastside matters". The Georgia Straight. Retrieved February 10, 2017.
- "Sisters In Spirit – NWAC". NWAC. Retrieved March 8, 2018.
- Carrera, Jorge (November 4, 2010). "Sisters in Spirit program used by feds to 'squeeze' Native Women's Association of Canada". rabble.ca. Retrieved March 8, 2018.
- Barrera, Jorge (December 1, 2010). "Need for 'action' behind funding cut to Sisters in Spirit: cabinet ministers' letter". APTN News. APTN National News. Retrieved March 8, 2018.
- "Indigenous women and girls face 'internal terrorism,' says Sudbury vigil organizer". CBC News. Retrieved March 8, 2018.
- "Marches, vigils held to remember missing and murdered indigenous women". CBC News. Retrieved October 18, 2017.
- "Families share memories of missing and murdered Aboriginal women | Metro Ottawa". metronews.ca. Archived from the original on March 13, 2018. Retrieved March 8, 2018.
- "October 4th Vigils". NWAC. Retrieved October 18, 2017.
- Blaze Baum, Kathryn (November 3, 2016). "Northern resource development tied to violence against indigenous women: report". The Globe and Mail.
- Newton, Chris (October 6, 2017). "Fort St. John resident says she wanted to make Trudeau aware of government failings at vigil on Parliament Hill". Energetic City.
- O'Toole, Megan. "Seeking justice for Canada's murdered women". www.aljazeera.com. Retrieved March 8, 2018.
- "Why thousands of indigenous women have gone missing in Canada". Vox. Retrieved March 8, 2018.
- "Families of Sisters in Spirit: Justice for missing and murdered Indigenous women in Canada | rabble.ca". rabble.ca. October 3, 2012. Retrieved March 8, 2018.
- "About – It Starts With Us". itstartswithus-mmiw.com. Retrieved March 8, 2018.
- Hundert, Alex (March 21, 2011). "Bridget Tolley's search for justice for her mother". rabble.ca. Retrieved March 8, 2018.
- Binks-Collier, Max (November 14, 2016). "Tears from up above". McGill Daily. Retrieved March 8, 2018.
- Talaga, Tanya (October 3, 2017). "Vigils being held across Canada Wednesday for murdered and missing Indigenous women and girls". The Toronto Star. ISSN 0319-0781. Retrieved March 8, 2018.
- Moore, Holly. "Unresolved: Gladys Tolley". CBC News. Retrieved March 8, 2018.
- Dangerfield, Katie (February 23, 2018). "How the tragic death of Tina Fontaine helped spark the MMIWG inquiry". Global. Archived from the original on March 3, 2018. Retrieved March 3, 2018.
- "Tina Fontaine, 15, found in bag in Red River". The Globe and Mail. August 17, 2014. Archived from the original on August 9, 2016. Retrieved August 7, 2016.
- Wells, Jennifer (December 11, 2015). "Winnipeg police make arrest in case of Tina Fontaine". Toronto Star. Archived from the original on July 10, 2017. Retrieved September 5, 2017.
- Puxley, Chinta; Lambert, Steve (August 18, 2014). "Body of 15-year-old girl found in Winnipeg's Red River". ctvnews.ca. Archived from the original on August 28, 2016. Retrieved August 22, 2016.
- Puxley, Chinta (April 5, 2015). "Drag the Red efforts ramping up in Winnipeg – Manitobans to drag Red River again to find missing, murdered aboriginal women". CBC News. Retrieved October 30, 2019.
A group of volunteers plan to dredge the Red River again this year, hoping to find anything that will bring closure to the families of missing and murdered aboriginal women. Bernadette Smith, whose sister Claudette Osborne went missing seven years ago, spearheaded the search last year after the body of 15-year-old Tina Fontaine was found in the river wrapped in a bag.
- Wells, Jennifer (December 6, 2015). "Searching for traces of the missing in Winnipeg's Red River". The Star. Retrieved October 30, 2019.
The water washes away evidence.
- Lally, Conor (January 17, 2016). "Analysis: Dumping of bodies in canals usually sign of panic". The Irish Times. Retrieved October 30, 2019.
Bodies not found immediately can reach such a state of decomposition that identifying the deceased or establishing the cause of death can prove an impossible or protracted exercise. The waters will likely wash away some evidence such as body fluid, hair or even skin particles from remains or clothing that can link a victim or crime scene to a killer.
- "About ‹ The REDress Project". www.redressproject.org. Retrieved February 3, 2016.
- "The REDress Project". www.redressproject.org. Retrieved February 3, 2016.
- Suen, Fan-Yee (October 3, 2015). "Red dresses seek to draw attention to missing, murdered aboriginal women". CTV News. Retrieved February 3, 2016.
- "About the REDress project". Indigenousfoundations.arts.ubc.ca. Archived from the original on February 3, 2016. Retrieved February 3, 2016.
- Beeston, Laura (March 21, 2017). "Red dresses a visual reminder of missing, murdered Indigenous women". thestar.com. Retrieved March 22, 2017.
- Sandals, Leah (July 7, 2014). "Christi Belcourt Q&A: On Walking With Our Sisters". Canadian Art. Retrieved January 14, 2019.
- "Walking With Our Sisters". Walking With Our Sisters. Retrieved December 11, 2015.
- Smoke, Penny (August 20, 2019). "Walking With Our Sisters collective member reflects on exhibit's meaning". CBC News. Retrieved January 14, 2020.
- Morrisseau, Miles (April 16, 2012). ""Faceless Dolls Project" gives voice to missing and murdered Aborginal women". CBC Manitoba. Retrieved February 14, 2017.
- Gale, Frank (February 3, 2016). "Murdered women recognized in Faceless Doll presentation". The Western Star. Retrieved February 14, 2017.
- Ruby, Michelle (August 20, 2014). "FACELESS DOLL PROJECT: Remembering victims". Brantford Expositor. Archived from the original on February 15, 2017. Retrieved February 14, 2017.
- "Polaris Music Prize 2014: Tanya Tagaq wins $30K prize". CBC News, September 22, 2014.
- Windigo, Delaney (November 12, 2015). "Inuksuks along Hamilton hiking trail created to remember missing, murdered Indigenous women". Aboriginal Peoples Television Network. Retrieved December 11, 2015.
- "What is an Inukshuk?". Inukshuk Gallery. Gallery Indigena. Archived from the original on December 9, 2015. Retrieved December 11, 2015.
- Carter, Adam (November 5, 2015). "Aboriginal women remembered with 1,181 inukshuks". Remember Our Sisters Everywhere. CBC. Retrieved December 11, 2015.
- Murphy, David. "Nunavik woman spearheads Inuksuit campaign for Aboriginal women". Nunatsiaq Online. Retrieved April 1, 2017.
- "Webby Awards: CBC's Missing & Murdered podcast, NFB's Seances vie for online prize". CBC News. Retrieved April 21, 2017.
- Halushak, Maureen (October 20, 2016). "Meet the Reporter Behind a New, Must-Listen Canadian Crime Podcast". Flare. Retrieved March 30, 2017.
- Walker, Connie; Evans, Heather; Luke, Marnie; Fowler, Jennifer (March 7, 2018). "CBC podcast solves decades-old mystery of Saskatchewan girl lost in Sixties Scoop". CBC. Retrieved December 22, 2019.
- "Meet Our Staff". Coalition to Stop Violence Against Native Women. Retrieved January 12, 2020.
- "Big Green Sky – MMIW play". cbc.ca. CBC Radio. Retrieved October 31, 2019.
A local theatre group has commissioned a play about Canada's missing and murdered Indigenous women. It debuts in Sandwich Town tonight – and they hope it'll be performed across the country. We spoke to Patricia Fell from the Windsor Feminist Theatre
- Purdy, Chris (October 9, 2018). "Supreme Court to hear questions in case of Ontario trucker acquitted in death of Edmonton woman". CBC News. Retrieved October 13, 2018.
- "Muriel Stanley Venne". indspire.ca. Indspire. November 20, 2014. Retrieved March 24, 2018.
- Stanley Venne, Muriel (October 2016). "Presentation to the United Nations For All the Missing and Murdered Aboriginal Women of Canada" (PDF). Institute for the Advancement of Aboriginal Women. p. 11. Retrieved October 20, 2018.
- Mumford, Gwilym (September 8, 2017). "Taylor Sheridan: 'The big joke on reservations is the white guy that shows up and says: "My grandma is Cherokee"'". The Guardian. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved June 13, 2020.
- Asenap, Jason (September 15, 2017). "Why do white writers keep making films about Indian Country?". High Country News. Retrieved August 24, 2018.
- "Eastern Band of Cherokee Indians Says Wind River and Yellowstone Actress is Not Enrolled nor Descended from Tribe". Pechanga.net. September 19, 2017. Retrieved September 25, 2017.
- Yu·September 21, Heather Johnson; Read, 2017·3 Min (September 21, 2017). "Eurasian Actress Exposed After Falsely Claiming She Was Part Native American Over Film Role". NextShark. Retrieved August 1, 2019.
- "Kim O’Bomsawin tend la main avec le documentaire Ce silence qui tue". Ici Radio-Canada Manitoba, March 9, 2018.
- Wong, Jessica (March 26, 2019). "Gord Downie's Secret Path, Amazing Race and CBC News among Canadian Screen Awards winners". CBC News.
- Reports, statistics and activism
- Reclaiming Power and Place: The Final Report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls. Volume 1a (PDF) (Report). 1a. p. 728. ISBN 978-0-660-29274-8. CP32-163/2-1-2019E-PDF
- Reclaiming Power and Place: The Final Report of the National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls. Volume 1b (PDF) (Report). 1b. p. 352. ISBN 978-0-660-30489-2. CP32-163/2-2-2019E-PDF
- National Inquiry into Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, Final report Canada
- Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women & Girls Report, by Annita Lucchesi (Southern Cheyenne) and Abigail Echo-Hawk (Pawnee), Urban Indian Health Institute (U.S.)
- Missing & Murdered: The Unsolved Cases of Indigenous Women and Girls (Canadian) CBC News, 2016–2017
- No More Stolen Sisters, Amnesty International campaign website
- Saskatchewan Provincial Partnership committee on Missing Persons, Final Report, October 2007
- Resources, support and prevention
- "Missing & Murdered Indigenous Women: Resources & Information", US resources archived at US Senator Heidi Heitkamp's website
- MMIWG & Violence Prevention, Native Women's Association of Canada official website, resources page
- White Buffalo Calf Woman Society website, Native American women's resources online and in the Plains regions