Taking Action

Take Action – The Political Approach
Never underestimate the power of your vote. Your voice can shape local political agendas and influence politicians to prioritize this crisis. Call your representatives, attend town halls and city council meetings, organize protests, circulate petitions, and schedule meetings. Social media is an incredible tool – take advantage of your network to amplify this issue. The following list includes several political efforts and grassroots activities that you can help support.

Savanna’s Act: Named in honor of Savanna LaFontaine-Greywind, a Native woman kidnapped and murdered in North Dakota in 2017. This bill directs the Department of Justice to review, revise, and develop law enforcement and justice protocols to address the MMIW crisis and close data collection gaps. Status: Approved by the President

Not Invisible Act: Led by four Native American members of Congress this bill would establish an advisory committee on violent crime comprised of law enforcement, tribal leaders, federal partners, and survivors to make recommendations to the Department of Interior and Department of Justice. It would also introduce a position in the Bureau of Indian Affairs charged with coordinating these efforts across agencies. Status: Held in the House

Justice for Native Survivors of Sexual Violence Act: An amendment to the Indian Civil Rights Act of 1968 that would extend tribal jurisdiction to cases involving sexual violence, trafficking, and stalking. Status: Held at the Committee on Indian Affairs. 

Operation Lady Justice: President Trump established this task force in November 2019 to address the MMIW crisis. While a step in the right direction, many Native leaders and advocacy organizations have criticized the effort, as the task force does not include the voices of survivors or tribal leaders, lacks transparency, and does not examine contributing factors like limited tribal jurisdiction and resource extraction. Status: Flawed, underfunded, and facing several coordination and logistical issues.

Studying the Missing and Murdered Indian Crisis Act: A bill directing the head of the Government Accountability Office to submit a report on law enforcement agencies’ response to reports of missing or murdered Native peoples. Status: Held in Senate Committee on Indian Affairs

National Day of Awareness for Missing and Murdered Native Women and Girls: A Senate resolution to formally designate May 5th as the National Day of Awareness for Missing and Murdered Native Women and Girls. Status: Passed in 2019 with unanimous consent.

Take Action – The Personal Approach

Take Action – The Personal Approach

  • Learn more about tribal, state, and local programs and services that support survivors of sexual assault, rape, and violence and/or work to address MMIW cases
  • Donate to crisis hotlines, women’s shelters, and non-profit organizations
  • Participate in local gatherings, protests, marches, and vigils to show solidarity
  • Volunteer with local or national organizations focused on gender-based violence
  • Amplify Native voices and information about the MMIW crisis on social media
  • Talk to friends, family, coworkers, and community members about the crisis, and help dismantle myths, misconceptions, and stereotypes about Indigenous peoples
  • Acknowledge the land you reside on– what tribal nations originally inhabited your area? Encourage local government and businesses to use land acknowledgment statements
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