Passage of joint resolution marks alarming rate at which indigenous women go missing or are murdered

AUGUSTA, Maine (WABI) - State lawmakers recently passed a joint resolution that highlights the alarming rate at which indigenous women go missing or are murdered.

While Maine is joining other states in bringing awareness to the issue, there's still much that needs to be done.

Donna Brown of the Wabanaki Women's Coalition says, "We know that our native women and girls experience some of the highest rates of violence in the United States."

Murder is the third leading cause of death among American Indian and Alaska Native women, according to a recent study by the Urban Indian Health Institute.

Brown says, "The rates of violence are rooted in the early history of our country. Rooted in colonialism, rooted in racism, genocide, assimilation, governmental practices and laws that were enacted early on and have really carried through. So, the violence perpetrated against our native women and girls has unfortunately become the norm."

Several gathered at the State House to commemorate the passage of a joint resolution to recognize May 5th as National Day of Awareness for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls.

Brown says, "The more support we have really supports the visibility of our women and girls as well as this issue. And really, to bring to the forefront that we need legislation in place, we need federal policies in place, procedures within our communities. We really need to be more proactive in terms of what do we do to really address this issue."

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