Recognizing Missing and Murdered Indigenous Persons Day

Indian Gaming Association Chairman Ernie Stevens, Jr., with Cher Stevens in the heart of Indian Country, Oneida Wisconsin, recognizing Missing and Murdered Indigenous Persons Awareness Day in 2022.

Washington, D.C. (May 5, 2023) – On this Missing and Murdered Indigenous Persons Awareness Day, the Indian Gaming Association joins tribal communities, national Native and grassroots organizations, advocates, and activists in continuing to bring awareness to the epidemic of missing and murdered Indigenous people until the day when all are safe everywhere.

On Tuesday, May 4th, 2023, President Biden formally declared May 5th, 2023, as Missing and Murdered Indigenous Persons Awareness Day. Biden said, “Indian Country has been gripped by an epidemic of missing or murdered Indigenous people, whose cases far too often go unsolved. Families have been left investigating disappearances on their own, demanding justice for their loved ones, and grieving pieces of their souls. Generations of activists and organizers have pushed for accountability, safety, and change. We need to respond with urgency and the resources needed to stop the violence and reverse the legacy of inequity and neglect that often drives it.

Under the leadership of Secretary Deb Haaland, the Department of the Interior created a new unit to speed up investigations, bring families closure, and keep Native communities safe.

Biden added, “At our 2021 White House Tribal Nations Summit, I signed an Executive Order that tasked Federal agencies with investigating the causes of this crisis, collecting better data on these overwhelmingly underreported crimes, and developing a strategy to combat this epidemic, which most often impacts women, girls, LGBTQI+ people in the community, and Two-Spirit Native Americans.”

Today, throughout tribal communities, gatherings of recognition and remembrance are taking place, including in my home community, the Oneida Nation of Wisconsin. Today and this weekend. We are recognizing, remembering, and educating all about the plights of Indian country to keep our tribal communities safe. We are called upon all to wear red in remembrance as a symbol to call attention further and raise awareness of missing and murdered Indigenous people in North America.