Missing & Murdered Indigenous Women & Relatives

New Mexico: What to do if someone goes missing

About Us

The Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Relatives (MMIWR) epidemic is an issue currently affecting Tribal communities and people, especially those living in cities. Native American women face extremely high rates of violence, an epidemic which is marked by the lack of data around the number of women who go missing or are murdered in and outside of reservations.

Over 5,700 American Indian and Alaska Native women and girls were reported missing as of 2016, according to the National Crime Information Center, but only 116 of those cases were lodged with the Department of Justice. Eighty-four percent of Native women experience violence in their lifetime, according to the National Institute of Justice. A 2008 study found that women in some Tribal communities are 10 times more likely to be murdered than the national average.

In 2019, Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham established the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women Task Force Act, with House Bill 278. The task force reported its finding and recommendations to Governor Lujan Grisham, the legislative council service library, and the appropriate legislative committees.

On May 5, 2021, Governor Lujan Grisham signed Executive Order 2021-013, which establishes the next phase of the task force. The task force is comprised of representatives from across Tribal Nations, including state legislators and community partners. The task force will collaborate with Tribal governments, Tribal law enforcement, and the United States Department of Justice to determine how to address the crisis by creating partnerships and improving processes for reporting and investigating cases while supporting families and communities with resources.

MMIWR Advisory Members

  • Georgene Louis, New Mexico Representative
  • Pamelya Herndon, New Mexico Representative
  • Cheryl Yazzie, Community Grassroots Advocate for MMIWR
  • Lynda Thompson, MCO United Health Group
  • Jacqueline Kennerly, Member of Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma
  • Ivonne Escajeda
Past MMIWR Task Force Members
  • Melody Delmar, Interim Board Chair, New Mexico Indian Affairs Department
  • Suzanne Skasik, Department of Public Safety, Captain/Special Investigations Unit
  • Henry Kaulaity, Special Agent, Bureau of Indian Affairs – Office of Justice Services
  • Jana Pfefiffer, New Mexico Office of the Attorney General
  • Delilah Tenorio, New Mexico Office of the Attorney General
  • Richelle Montoya, Navajo Nation Vice President
  • Jasmin Blackwater Nygren, Navajo Nation First Lady
  • John Tsosie, Executive Assistant to the Navajo Nation President
  • James Maiorano, New Mexico Sheriff’s Association
  • Deputy Chief Taft Tracy, Farmington Police Department
  • Sergeant Andrea Tsosie, Gallup Police Department
  • Andrea Romero, New Mexico Representative
  • Linda Lopez, New Mexico Senator
  • Mila Reinikainen, Sandia Pueblo Behavioral Health
  • Pretty Water Duran, ICWA Manager San Ildefonso Pueblo
  • Koy Perea, Jicarilla Apache Nation
  • Ardena Orosco, Mescalero Apache Tribe
  • Anthony Mendez, Mescalero Apache Tribe
  • Rita Capitan, Navajo Nation Crownpoint Chapter Representative
  • Amber Crotty, Navajo Nation Council Delegate
  • Kelly Gilbreth, Crossroads for Women/Americans for Indian Opportunity
  • Nicole Webb, UNM Hospital Trauma Nurse
  • Michelle Pent, Local physician specializing in public health and addiction
  • Darlene Gomez, Legal advocate
  • MaryEllen Garcia, NM Crime Victim Reparation Commission
  • Meskee Yatsayte, Missing and Murdered Diné Relatives
  • Jennifer Denetdale, Navajo Nation Human Right Commission
  • Celina Montoya-Garcia, Coalition to Stop Violence Against Native Women
  • Nolan J. Hall, Indigenous Youth Representative
  • Mattee Jim, HIV Prevention Coordinator, First Nations Community Healthsource
  • Reycita Billie, Navajo Nation Tribal Dispatcher
  • Chuck Weaver, Santa Ana Pueblo Criminal Investigator
  • Chastity Sandoval, Nambe Pueblo Victim Legal Advocate
  • Kyle Hartsock, Albuquerque Police Department
  • Tracy J Madrid, Indigenous survivors of violence or family members of an Indigenous relative who has been a victim of violence
  • Petra Solimon, Indigenous survivors of violence or family members of an Indigenous relative who has been a victim of violence
  • Becky Johnson, Indigenous survivors of violence or family member of an Indigenous relative who has been a victim of violence