National Day of Awareness of Murdered and Missing Indigenous Persons
May 5 is the National Day of Awareness of Murdered and Missing Indigenous Persons. The day is meant to remember Hanna Harris and bring awareness to the missing and murdered Indigenous people (MMIP) crisis.
Hanna was a part of the Northern Cheyenne Tribe and went missing on July 4, 2013. Authorities initially did not take her disappearance seriously and several days later her body was discovered, murdered. Her death initiated change as to how missing indigenous women and girls are treated in the United States and highlighted the lack of resources and assistance for native women like Hanna.
In 2016, the National Institute of Justice conducted a study of Native American communities and found disproportionate rates of violence. According to the study, during their lifetime, 84.3% of Native American women will experience some form of violence, which is 1.2 times higher than non-Hispanic white women.
Since Hanna's death, indigenous communities and advocates use her birthday on May 5 as a day to honor her memory and raise awareness about the disparities affecting Indigenous communities. I encourage everyone to wear red on this day to bring awareness to this important cause and advocate for solutions.
Kevin A. Carr, DOC Secretary