Missing & Murdered Indigenous Women

The Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women epidemic is an issue currently affecting tribal communities and indigenous people 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 logged 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, which will collaborate with tribal governments, tribal law enforcement, and the U.S. Department of Justice to determine the scope of the problem, identify barriers, and create partnerships to improve processes for reporting and investigating cases. The task force, which was appointed in October 2019, must report its finding and recommendations to Governor Lujan Grisham, the legislative council service library, and the appropriate legislative committees before November 1, 2020.

Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women Task Force House Bill 278

MMIW Task Force Members

  • Lynn Trujillo, Cabinet Secretary, Board Chair, New Mexico Indian Affairs Department
  • Mark Shea, Cabinet Secretary, New Mexico Department of Public Safety
  • Kathy Howkumi, U.S. Bureau of Indian Affairs Office of Justice Services
  • Beata Tsosie, Pueblo Representative
  • Sharnen Velarde, Jicarilla Apache Nation representative
  • Bernalyn Via, Mescalero Apache Tribe representative
  • Phefelia Nez, First Lady, Navajo Nation representative
  • Matthew Strand, Statewide or local non-governmental organization representative that provides legal services to Indigenous Women
  • Linda Son-Stone, Indigenous women’s non-governmental organization representative that provides counseling services to Indigenous women
  • Elizabeth Gonzales, Office of the Medical Investigator representative
  • Becky Jo Johnson, an Indigenous woman who is a survivor of violence or who has lost a loved one to violence
MMIW Infographics