TAHLEQUAH, Okla. – Cherokee Nation shows its support of Missing or Murdered Indigenous People cases and raising awareness throughout the month of May.
Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr. on Friday, May 5, the National Day of Awareness for Missing or Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls, unveiled a tribute display at the W.W. Keeler Tribal Complex to raise awareness about the staggering statistics that disproportionally affect Native people, including women and girls.
Cherokee Nation’s stand for justice includes several displays throughout the reservation this month featuring red Cherokee tear dresses and ribbon shirt as part of the national Red Dress Project, which has become synonymous with the MMIP movement.
“Today we pause to recognize the National Day of Awareness for Missing or Murdered Indigenous People and bring awareness to this tragic statistic that plagues our country,” Chief Hoskin said. “For years, homicide has been one of the leading causes of death for Native women and people and as tribes we must come together to end this violence and protect our mothers, sisters and daughters and all Natives who are missing. The work is not easy, but I assure you it has already begun here in the Cherokee Nation. We continue to expand our ONE FIRE Victim Services office, hired more marshals and prosecutors to protect victims and prosecute those who commit crimes and have assigned an MMIP investigator to cases in our reservation. We will continue on this front.”
To raise awareness across the Cherokee Nation Reservation, additional displays will debut on May 12 at the Cherokee Nation Anna Mitchell Cultural & Welcome Center in Vinita and on May 19 at the Cherokee National History Museum in Tahlequah.
On Tuesday, May 23, Cherokee Nation will host a special display to represent the cases of Missing or Murdered Indigenous People within the Cherokee Nation Reservation. The display will be hosted at the Cherokee Springs Gallery in Tahlequah and will run through May 27.
Visitors are encouraged to take their photo alongside the displays and share on social media with the hashtags #MMIW, #MMIWG, #MMIP.
“Cherokee Nation has the power and responsibility to protect its people. Our fight to bring home our missing is how we honor the legacy of the ones we’ve lost, and we will continue to invest in the best resources,” Deputy Chief Bryan Warner said. “We hope the public will join us in our efforts to end the silence, acknowledge this ongoing crisis, and take a step toward healing in our Native communities.”