Missing and Murdered Indigenous Persons Awareness Day

Navaeh Kingbird still missing over a year later.
Published: May. 5, 2023 at 7:20 PM CDT
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FARGO, N.D. (Valley News Live) - May 5th is National Missing and Murdered Indigenous Persons Awareness Day. Several events are taking place across the U.S. to honor the thousands of missing and murdered Indigenous people.

In Bemidji, MMIW 218 hosted a walk/run through the town in a show of support for their murdered and missing community members. Bemidji resident, Navaeh Kingbird, was reported as a runaway on October 22nd, 2021. But, by early December, police say it appeared no one had been in contact with Kingbird since that day in October. According to a recent Bemidji Police press release, there have been no updates in the case.

Navaeh’s mother has advice for those facing a similar situation, “take it one day at a time, never give up on looking for your child and never give up on the family that’s around you.”

In Moorhead, MSUM campus held a panel discussion to raise awareness about and encourage discussion of MMIP. All the panelists featured work to eliminate human trafficking and violence against all persons.

Commissioner to the ‘Not Invisible Act Commission’, Ruth Buffalo, expresses her feelings about the day, “the fact that we have a day designated for this crisis is sad.”

The MMIP movement saw momentum nationally in 2015 and continues to grow in prominence in the mainstream. As of today, the U.S. Senate approved a resolution officially designating May 5 as the National Day of Awareness for Missing and Murdered Native Women and Girls. According to advocates of MMIP the crisis is, “a legacy of generations of government policies of forced removal, land seizures and violence inflicted on Native peoples.”