The Month of May Recognizes Missing and Murdered Indigenous Relatives (MMIR) In the United States, Native American women are two and a half times more susceptible to experiencing violence in their lifetime than any other demographic. Among the American Indian and Alaska Native women who have experienced sexual violence in their lifetime, almost all (96 percent) have experienced sexual violence by an interracial perpetrator and 21 percent have experienced sexual violence by an interracial perpetrator. (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") The last known count of missing and murdered women was 5,712 back in 2016. Alarmingly, only 116 of those cases were reported to the Department of Justice's missing persons’ list.
Wearing red is a way to remember and respect our missing and murdered loved ones. In some tribes, red is known to be the only color that spirits can see. By wearing red, the voices of the missing and murdered are represented and remembered. The original creator of the Red Dress campaign, Jaime Black, of the Metis Aboriginal Group from Canada, stated that red is the lifeblood and connection to all of us. Please honor our missing and murdered indigenous people and wear red throughout May. ARC had various monthly events to commemorate our Missing and Murdered Relatives. The Advocacy Resource Center (ARC) hosted the Red Dress Campaign on Shunk Road during the month of May. This year, ARC added Red Dress Displays to each Tribal Housing location in our seven-county service area. The Red Dress Campaign is a public display of red dresses hung to commemorate all "Missing Sisters" and honor their memory. ARC will also include red shirts, pants, and jackets to help remember our Missing and Murdered Relatives. Yard signs will also be available to those who are interested.
ARC is currently seeking information to add to the MMIR database to track the numbers of our missing and murdered Sault Tribe relatives. Relatives or friends with information about a missing or murdered Sault Tribe member are encouraged to contact Jess Gillotte-King, Community Educator, at 906-632-1808 with their information.
ARC wants to maintain an accurate count of our tribal members that have been taken from us. The ARC has also created a Missing Persons Toolkit to assist families if a loved one goes missing. Toolkits are available at the Advocacy Resource Center and can be obtained by contacting the ARC office at 906-632-1808. For more information or ways to honor missing and murdered relatives, visit the ARC's Facebook page at www.facebook.com/saulttribeARC or the ARC's official website at www.arcsaulttribe.com.
Recent articles and news clips:
Michigan Tribes Unite in Downtown Grand Rapids for Missing or Murdered Indigenous Persons Awareness Day | Currents (nativenewsonline.net)
President Biden's Proclamation on Missing or Murdered Indigenous Persons Awareness Day, 2023 | Currents (nativenewsonline.net)