Councilmember Debora Juarez (District 5, North Seattle), Chair of the Council’s Civic Assets, Public Development and Native Communities Committee, and her Seattle City Council colleagues proclaim May 5 as the Day of Awareness for Missing and Murdered Native American Women and Girls in the City of Seattle.
The council recognized the National Day of Awareness for Missing Native American Women and Girls with a proclamation read during the Full Council meeting April 30.
“I mourn with the families who have had to bury a loved one prematurely and have not received justice. I stand with families in hope that their missing family member will return home. In my elected capacity, I will continue to shine a light on this epidemic that has been doing on for far too long, and be a champion of policies that help solve this problem,” said Juarez.
“The disappearances and murders of Native American women and girls directly correlate to domestic violence, sexual assault or human trafficking. The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported homicide is the third leading cause of death for Native American women and girls between the ages of 10 and 24 years old. It is the fifth leading cause of death for Native women between 25 and 34 years old.
“We know these national statistics are felt on a local level in Seattle. Native Americans make up 2 percent of Washington’s population of 7.4 million people. Yet of the state’s estimated 1,800 people missing, Native Americans make up 5.5 percent.
“I’m thankful we have a strong network of women who have been organizing around this issue for more than a decade. Their work is pushing change, including House Bill 2951, which requires state patrol to work with tribal law enforcement, federally recognized tribes, urban Indian organizations and the Governor’s Office of Indian Affairs to come up with better ways to report and identify missing Native American women throughout Washington.
“My hope is together, by shining a light on this injustice, we will inspire and enact real change.”