Governor Cooper Proclaims Day of Awareness for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women The proclamation sets aside May 5 to recognize the disproportionate rate of violent crimes against American Indian and Alaska Native women

Raleigh, NC

Governor Roy Cooper declared May 5 as a Day of Awareness for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women to raise awareness of the many American Indian and Alaska Native women who have disappeared from their homes and lost their lives to acts of violence. The proclamation also notes the disproportionate rate of violence against Indigenous women. According to a study conducted on behalf of the United States Department of Justice, in some tribal communities, Indigenous women face murder rates that are roughly ten times the national average. The National Institute of Justice estimates that 84 percent of Indigenous women experience violence in their lifetime.

“The rate of violence against American Indian and Alaska Native women is disheartening,” said NC Department of Administration Secretary Pamela B. Cashwell. “We must continue to bring attention to this issue.  Families deserve full investigations and prosecutions to bring closure and impact the disparities among women in American Indian communities.”

To date, there are approximately 90 unsolved cases of missing and murdered Indigenous women and children in North Carolina dating back to 1994. North Carolina has the largest American Indian population east of the Mississippi and is home to eight state recognized tribes including the Coharie, Haliwa-Saponi, Lumbee, Meherrin, Occcaneechi Band of the Saponi Nation, Sappony and the Waccamaw-Siouan.

Established in 1971 by the NC General Assembly, the NC Department of Administration’s Commission of Indian Affairs serves as an advocate for local, regional, and national American Indian concerns. The Commission is also a hub for community resources, one of which aids women experiencing domestic and sexual violence.

“The Commission of Indian Affairs domestic violence and sexual assault program provides educational materials and resources on signs of intimate partner abuse and service areas,” said Commission of Indian Affairs Director Greg Richardson. “Tribal populations served by volunteer advocates include the Coharie, Haliwa-Saponi, Meherrin, Sappony and Waccamaw-Siouan.”

For additional resources and information on North Carolina’s state recognized tribes, visit the NC Commission of Indian Affairs website for details.

Governor Cooper’s proclamation recognizing May 5 as a Day of Awareness for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women can be read here.

View DOA Secretary Cashwell’s reading of the proclamation here.


About NC Department of Administration

Established in 1957, the North Carolina Department of Administration acts as the business manager for North Carolina state government. Under the leadership of Secretary Machelle Sanders since appointed by Governor Roy Cooper in 2017, the department oversees Government Operations and advocacy programs. The department's advocacy programs provide advocacy, assistance and services to diverse segments of the state's population that have been traditionally underserved.

About NC Commission of Indian Affairs

The North Carolina Commission of Indian Affairs was created in 1971 by the North Carolina General Assembly in response to the requests of concerned Indian citizens from across the state. The Commission was established pursuant to North Carolina General Statutes 143B-404 through 143B-411.



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