One of the challenges faced by Indigenous communities across the United States is the issue of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls (MMIWG). The National Indigenous Women's Resource Center (NIWRC) is a beacon of hope in the fight against this issue. Their latest initiative, the Not Invisible Act Commission (NIAC) Hub, represents a step forward in addressing the longstanding problems facing Indigenous communities.
Taking Action to Help Indigenous Women and Girls
The Not Invisible Act Commission (NIAC) was established as a response to the crisis of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls. Indigenous communities have struggled with this issue for decades, with little attention from the broader society and the government. The NIAC was created to rectify this injustice, bringing the voices and concerns of Indigenous communities to the forefront.
The Not Invisible Act, signed into law in October 2020 laid the foundation for the Commission. It called for the establishment of an advisory committee to address the MMIWG crisis. The Act recognized the need for a comprehensive strategy to combat the violence that disproportionately affects Indigenous women and girls.
The Commission was established as a result of the Not Invisible Act, which was introduced by Senators Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) and Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nevada) in the Senate and Representatives Norma Torres (D-California) and Deb Haaland (D-New Mexico) in the House of Representatives. Deb Haaland has since been appointed Secretary of the Interior; her role in its passage occurred before she became Secretary.
The MMIWG crisis is a deeply rooted and complex issue that demands a multifaceted approach. The NIAC Hub plays a pivotal role in this endeavor by offering a comprehensive set of resources and tools:
Advocacy and Awareness: Raising awareness about MMIWG is the first step in addressing the crisis. The NIAC Hub features stories, articles, and educational materials to in form the public about the issue. It emphasizes the need for a collective effort to bring justice to Indigenous women and girls.
Support and Healing: Indigenous communities often lack access to the resources needed to support victims and survivors of violence. The NIAC Hub provides guidance on trauma-informed care and healing practices, acknowledging the cultural sensitivity required in these situations.
Policy and Legislation: The Not Invisible Act Commission was established to develop recommendations and strategies for addressing MMIWG. The NIAC Hub keeps the public informed about the Commission's progress and outcomes, ensuring transparency and accountability.
Collaboration and Partnerships: Combating the MMIWG crisis requires collaboration among various stakeholders. The NIAC Hub facilitates connections between tribal governments, law enforcement agencies, non-profit organizations, and advocates. This collaborative approach strengthens the overall response to the crisis.
Challenges and Hurdles
While the Not Invisible Act Commission and the NIAC Hub represent significant progress, there are still challenges to overcome. Indigenous communities face systemic issues, including underfunded law enforcement agencies and a lack of resources. Additionally, the cultural sensitivity required in addressing MMIWG is often overlooked.
Furthermore, the MMIWG crisis is not limited to the United States. Indigenous communities across the globe face similar challenges, and the lessons learned through the NIAC Hub can have broader implications for addressing these issues on an international scale.
The Importance of Community Involvement
Community involvement is crucial in addressing the MMIWG crisis. Indigenous communities need to have a say in the policies and strategies developed to combat violence and support victims. The NIAC Hub recognizes this importance and actively engages with Indigenous communities to gather input and feedback.
The importance of community involvement cannot be overstated. By empowering Indigenous communities to have a say in the policies and strategies developed to combat violence and support victims, the NIAC Hub paves the way for a safer and more just future for all Indigenous women and girls.
As we move forward, it is essential that we continue to support initiatives like this and work together to bring about positive change in Indigenous communities across the United States and beyond. Together, we can create a world where Indigenous women and girls are respected, no longer invisible, and where their voices are heard.
How to Learn More
Learn more about the National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center:
The official list of recommendations was released on November 1, 2023. You can download the "Not One More: the Not Invisible Act Commission" Final Report:
Photo Credit: Photo by Ган-Эрдэнэ Булгантамир: https://www.pexels.com/photo/ethnic-woman-standing-behind-mountains-under-cloudy-sky-in-countryside-3847716/