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The Silent Crisis: Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls and the Effort to Bring Awareness

Kayleigh Heister, Katherine Ryan, Dr. Rowan Steineker and Dr. Jeffrey Fortney, Department of Social Sciences, Florida Gulf Coast University, 10501 FGCU Blvd S, Fort Myers, FL 33965

There is a silent crisis that is continuously affecting the Native American community and their history; that is, hundreds of unsolved cases concerning Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls  (MMIWG). With the first case occurring in the 1700s, this problem has persisted into the twenty-first-century. This movement has seen little attention from the general public or justice for the women and cases brought to light. Why has this systemic problem continued for generations? With little progress made, what efforts have been made at the governmental level to solve this issue, if any? What have grassroots movements done that governments could not? As we delved deeper for answers, we discovered that there is little historical research concerning this topic, with barely any secondary sources from scholars. The study is reliant on newspaper articles, interviews, and information from independently created databases. From there, it is critical to understand the complex nature of the legal system that is covered by red tape due to these cases being active and the different legal systems in place. The MMIWG epidemic is replete with complex issues, including legal contradictions, differing national treatment, and inconsistent political attention. As a result of failed systems, grassroots movements have become the predominant current seeking justice for these women. Our research is a good first step to identify information for public education on this issue and provides more awareness of the systemic MMIWG crisis.




Additional Abstract Information

Presenters: Kayleigh Heister, Katherine Ryan

Institution: Florida Gulf Coast University

Type: Poster

Subject: Native American Studies

Status: Approved


Time and Location

Session: Poster 9
Date/Time: Wed 12:00pm-1:00pm
Session Number: 6002