Remembering the forgotten

To bring awareness to issues facing Native Americans, the Northeast Oklahoma American Indian Movement put together a day of remembrance for lives lost and forgotten on Sunday.

The goal was to raise awareness of missing and murdered indigenous people who are statistically under-reported.

At the end of 2017, the FBI’s National Crime Information Center Database had 633 open missing person cases for Native American women. Those numbers are considered an undercount, given reporting is largely voluntary and some tribes only gained full access to the database under a Justice Department program launched in 2015.

“No one cared enough to count us until now. There are some efforts starting throughout the country and all the different states are kind of putting together task forces, but to date nobody’s got a clear number. And honestly, how far would you go back because our people have been murdered and missing since colonization started,” said Olivia Gray with Osage Nation Family Violence Prevention.

The event also brought awareness to child abuse, domestic violence, and human trafficking in the Native American community.