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May 5, 2022: Missing and Murdered Indigenous Persons Awareness Day

WHEREAS, Indigenous persons, and specifically women and girls, continue to face disproportionate violence; and,

WHEREAS, the cases of countless missing and murdered Indigenous persons remain unreported, under-investigated, and unsolved; and,

WHEREAS, systemic failures continue to further complicate the immediate and appropriate response to individual cases; and,

WHEREAS, investigation into cases of missing and murdered Indigenous persons is made difficult for Tribal law enforcement agencies due to a lack of resources and the complex jurisdictional scheme that exists in Indian Country; and,

WHEREAS, four out of five American Indian and Alaska Native women have experienced violence in their life, and ninety percent of these victims report being victimized by a non-Native perpetrator, with Indigenous women and girls being murdered at a rate of ten times the national average; and,

WHEREAS, American Indian and Alaskan Native women are two and a half times as likely as non-Hispanic white women to lack access to needed services; and,

WHEREAS, there is little data that exists on the number of missing and murdered Indigenous persons in the United States; and,

WHEREAS, families still remember these taken relatives whose cases remain unsolved or inequitably handled and seek to promote healing throughout the Indigenous community; and,

WHEREAS, this day, we seek to raise awareness of this crisis and reaffirm our commitment to developing policies and procedures and allocating proportional resources to reduce, investigate, and justly adjudicate all incidents of violence perpetrated against Indigenous persons; and

WHEREAS, in Michigan, the Sault Ste. Marie Tribe of Chippewa Indians and Bay Mills Indian Community are working with Tribes in other states as part of a national pilot project addressing the crisis of missing and murdered Indigenous persons; and,

WHEREAS, the state of Michigan stands in solidarity with other Tribal, regional, state and national governments and organizations in support of recognizing May 5 as a day to raise awareness of these missing and murdered Indigenous persons;

NOW, THEREFORE, I, Gretchen Whitmer, governor of Michigan, do hereby proclaim May 5, 2022 as Missing and Murdered Indigenous Persons Awareness Day in Michigan.