Alert System For WA Missing And Murdered Indigenous Women And People

By Johanna Bejarano

A new alert system could be the first step towards addressing the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and People (MMIW/P) crisis in WA. Representative Debra Lekanoff announced the move last Friday during the first task force meetings in Toppenish; “We have worked, and I’ve got a bill in the code advisor’s office; we will have our own alert system for MMIW/P. This’ll be the first in the Nation, and it will be for our Tribal Police, local Police, State and Federal.”

It would be an initial concrete action that family members asked for during the meetings. Athena Sanchey-Yallup, the Yakama Nation Tribal County Secretary and another member of the task force, says “The need for increased training on how to navigate sensitive issues and reporting is not optional. It is critical to address the personal impacts to everyone affected as well as bringing justice to their loved ones”.

The Friday session focused on the public comments’ summary and established protocols, work expectations, and goals.

The urgent call: find ways to stop the “epidemic” of violence against indigenous women and solve the current unclosed cases.

The task force expects to meet every three months and present its first report in August 2022. Tribal organizations and indigenous communities will co-host meetings.