On Wednesday, as the nation recognized May 5, 2021 as Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls Awareness Day, Gov. John Bel Edwards signed a proclamation declaring the same in Louisiana as well as an executive order creating the Governor’s Task Force on Murdered and Missing Indigenous Women and Girls. It will proactively address the myriad causes of MMIWG and recommend solutions that can be implemented to protect Indigenous women and girls. Indigenous women suffer murder rates ten-times the national average, one in three will be raped in their lifetimes, and some 84 percent will be the victims of violence. This task force seeks to raise public awareness about the ongoing crisis of violence against Indigenous women.
“We must remember that each victim is much more than a number but a loved one, whose family and friends are searching for answers,” said Gov. Edwards. “There is a need for urgent action in order to combat this tragedy. Louisiana has a rich Indigenous heritage with four federally recognized Indian tribes and 11 state recognized tribes. I am grateful that this issue has been brought to the forefront. Louisiana is committed to partnering with federal, state, interstate, and intertribal efforts to address the injustice and violence done to indigenous women residing within our nation and our state.”
“This is such a serious issue, and I’m grateful to Coushatta Tribe of Louisiana Chairman David Sickey and others leaders who have been working tirelessly to bring attention to this injustice,” said First Lady Donna Edwards. “We are committed to doing all we can to help fight this heartbreaking crime.”