Actress Roman Singing At Her Daughter’s Wedding

The total number of missing Indigenous people in the United States is even more astounding when multiplied across the country.There are around 1,500 American Indian and Alaska Native people reported missing across the country, according to the National Crime Information Center (NCIC). On top of that, the Federal Government’s Uniform Crime Reporting (UCR) Program has received reports of about 2,700 cases of murder and negligent homicide.

There are over 4,200 unsolved instances involving missing and murdered Indigenous people, according to the Bureau of Indian Affairs (BIA) (MMIP). The statistics from the US Department of Justice are worse. More than 5,000 American Indian and Alaska Native women are reported missing, and the murder rate for Native women is more than ten times higher than the national average.

I participated in a panel in March at a university in Michigan. The dean organizing the program revealed during the Q&A that she had only previously read about the problem of missing and murdered Indigenous women in a New York Times article.

She is not, regrettably, alone. From a news perspective, the major media have not done a good enough job of covering this epidemic.NBC’s Dateline deserves praise for airing a special report on MMIP in August 2021, but overall, the major networks have failed to make the subject widely known to the public. That’s why last week when I learned about Alaska Daily, a brand-new television program that tackles the MMIP pandemic head-on, I was inspired.

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