June 29, 2023

Indigenous women led the 2019 Phoenix Women’s March, where they advocated for their missing and murdered Native sisters. Such activism is bringing a sense of urgency to the problem. Delia Johnson / Cronkite News/Source NM

MMIP commission coming to Mountain West

KUNM | By Emma Gibson

News Brief

The federal commission compiling a report about missing and murdered Indigenous peoples is traveling to communities to hear Indigenous peoples’ stories. The next stops are Albuquerque, N.M., on June 29 and 30 and Billings, Mont., in late July.

Indigenous peoples experience disproportionately high rates of violence – including four out of five Native women. The Interior Department's Not Invisible Act Commission aims to address what many call an “epidemic” of violence.

“This is a start to addressing the ongoing injustices of our missing and murdered Indigenous persons, who have been stolen and ripped from their communities, from their families,” said Commissioner Ruth Anna Buffalo, a citizen of the Mandan Hidatsa Arikara Nation and former state representative in North Dakota. “We want to find justice. We want to find solutions.”

At the field hearings, which began in April, experts on the crisis share information with the whole community, followed by a private session to hear from those affected by the violence.

Buffalo says participants at previous hearings have told commissioners about the lack of services for survivors, limited data, and law enforcement agencies' slow response times.

Register for the Not Invisible Act Commission hearing in Albuquerque, at Crowne Plaza Albuquerque, here. Register here for the hearing in Billings on July 25 and 26.

This story was produced by the Mountain West News Bureau, a collaboration between Wyoming Public Media, Nevada Public Radio, Boise State Public Radio in Idaho, KUNR in Nevada, the O'Connor Center for the Rocky Mountain West in Montana, KUNC in Colorado, KUNM in New Mexico, with support from affiliate stations across the region. Funding for the Mountain West News Bureau is provided in part by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.

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