GIC Issues - MMIW BILLBOARD CAMPAIGN
#mmiw #mmiwg #somebodysdaughter #NotInvisible
Our tribal alliance is beginning the process of making this MMIW tragedy impossible to ignore, and by doing so, inspiring action – real and constructive action – not just talk, inquiries and commissions. Our billboard imagery and campaign will contribute to bringing the MMIWG tragedy to the fore in the public conscience. The more exposure to this campaign, the greater the impact.
The Global Indigenous Council, the Rocky Mountain Tribal Leaders Council and the Great Plains Tribal Chairman’s Association initiated this unified, cross-border awareness campaign that began in South Dakota in January 2019.
South Dakota was selected as the start point as the state’s Lakota-Dakota Nations are in the eye of the human trafficking storm, on the I-90 corridor between Billings, Montana, and Minneapolis, Minnesota. Both cities are hubs from which Native women and minors are trafficked to the Bakken fracking fields and beyond. Tribes in South Dakota are bracing for two 1,400-man extractive industry Keystone-XL “man camps” to be raised by summer 2019 in proximity to reservation boundaries. With the occupation of “man camps” in the Bakken, sexual assaults on the neighboring Fort Berthold Indian Reservation of the Mandan, Hidatsa and Arikara escalated at an alarming rate.
Former Senator Heidi Heitkamp, the architect of Savanna’s Act, describes our billboard campaign as “one of the most powerful and important things” to undertake while legislation awaits passage. Let’s all commit to this endeavor and speak in one voice for those who have been silenced, and those who continue to suffer in silence.
The campaign expanded to Montana at the end of January, 2019 to coincide with the MMIW legislation introduced to the Montana State Legislature by Representative Rae Peppers of Lame Deer. Hanna’s Act was named for Hanna Harris, an MMIW victim from the Northern Cheyenne Reservation. After a long campaign, Hanna's Act has finally passed. The billboards are scheduled to be raised in Alaska, Washington State, New Mexico and Arizona through the spring and summer. The locations parallel those identified in the recent Urban Indian Health Institute report as having the highest incidences of MMIW cases.
BILLBOARDS RAISING AWARENESS OF MISSING AND MURDERED INDIGENOUS WOMEN POP UP IN WYOMING.
Motorists in parts of Wyoming might soon start noticing billboards meant to draw attention to missing and murdered Indigenous people across the country and state. A group of organizations has partnered to spread awareness of the country’s missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls by drawing attention to the problem with two billboards in Wyoming as state and tribal leaders start to discuss ways to solve it. “The silenced now have a voice,” Lynnette Grey Bull, founder of advocacy organization Not Our Native Daughters and senior vice president of the Global Indigenous Council, said in a news release. “As indigenous women, we are invisible no more.”
The Global Indigenous Council's "campaign already includes billboards in seven other states: South Dakota, Montana, New Mexico, Arizona, Oklahoma, Minnesota and Michigan." CASPER STAR TRIBUNE
The Blackfeet Nation will host the first Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women (MMIW) tribunal in the US in September at the Blackfeet Community College in Browning, Montana. The two-day Blackfeet MMIW Tribunal will record public testimony from MMIW survivors and victims’ families, as well as providing private sessions for witnesses who may be hesitant to share their accounts in a public forum."
“This billboard campaign is one of the most important things that can be done for the MMIW epidemic, because without awareness there will be no change. People need to know that this has been happening for decades, and this is how to bring it to their attention.”
- Senator Jon Tester (D-MT).
“This is a very important campaign and it will bring much needed awareness to the
- Senator Lisa Murkowski.
Senator Jon Tester with He Sapa MMIW
Senator Lisa Murkowski with our first MMIW board.
If we save one child from rape;
If we save one teenage girl from sex-slavery;
If we save one Native woman from the hands of a murderer, this campaign will have succeeded.
To the victims held in physical
and emotional bondage
– we will not abandon you.
To the victims’ families
– we hear you.
To those whose lives have been tragically taken
– we will not forget you.
“We’ve had violence against women increase by 168%, particularly in the area of rape.”
Kandi Mossett - MHA tribal member
Leader of the Indigenous Environmental Network on the impact of Bakken “man camps.”
“There is nothing more important than protecting our women and children, our life-givers and future generations. They are our hearts and souls. We must act to defend them. I fully support this MMIW campaign. I believe that at long last with bipartisan support on Capitol Hill we will finally see meaningful legislation passed to address this terrible tragedy."
Chairman Boyd Gourneau,
Lower Brule Sioux Tribe.
Great Plains Tribal Chairman's Association Executive Director, A. Gay Kingman, speaking at the press conference launching the MMIW billboard campaign.