Nationwide Alert System Created for Missing Indigenous Persons

Protestors with arms raised bringing attention to plight of missing indigenous women.
Attendees raise fists and hold signs in support of missing and murdered indigenous women in San Francisco 2018. Credit: Wiki Commons/Pax Ahimsa Gethen

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Governor Inslee signed Bill 1725 which creates an endangered missing person advisory.

It means there will be a “missing indigenous person alert” in Wash, along with the amber alert and the silver alert.

It is the first nationwide and will provide authorities with new tools to disseminate information to the public to find indigenous people.

Representative Debra Lekanoff says the system is an opportunity to be heard.

“The alert system is opening up and removing the hand away from the mouth. And that alert system is to scream from our women and our people who have gone missing or murdered.”

The law modifies the definition of a “missing endangered person” to include missing indigenous women or indigenous people.

The public will receive the alert through the broadcaster’s network and text messages.

It will inform about any missing indigenous people, regardless of their age or the circumstances of their disappearance.

Abduction, foul play or extenuating circumstances will not be required to launch the missing indigenous person alert.

The task force members will work with the Washington State Patrol and the Broadcasters Association on education, training, and development.

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Rosalie Fish, running with a painted red handprint across her face and the letters "MMIW" along her leg to raise awareness of the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women crisis. Photo courtesy of Fish.

In their own words: Rosalie Fish

For over 30 years, Native American Heritage Month has been federally recognized. Northwest Public Broadcasting reporters are interviewing Indigenous people throughout the region to learn what they think about the month and what they want people to understand about their culture and who they are. Reporter Lauren Gallup spoke with Rosalie Fish, a University of Washington student and athlete, who is using her platform to raise awareness of the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women crisis. As the month ends, the recognition does not and we continue to publish these conversations and stories to inspire more engagement and understanding. Continue Reading In their own words: Rosalie Fish