May 05, 2021
County Board Supervisor Richelle Andrae (608-469-6664) or County Board Supervisor Carousel Bayrd (608-442-6294)
County Board

At Thursday’s Dane County Board meeting, the Board will recognize May 5, 2021, as Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls Awareness Day to focus attention on combatting the abduction, homicide, violence toward, and trafficking of indigenous women.


The resolution seeks to mark the day to mourn and call attention to the many missing and murdered Native American women and girls, as well as those who have experienced violence and assault, and to resolve to act to prevent further harm.


"It's critical that we proactively work with survivors, families, and sovereign Tribal Nations to best understand how Dane County can be an effective partner in eliminating both the threats and realized harms related to missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls. I'd especially like to thank Alder Arvina Martin for raising more awareness on this issue, and continuing to advocate for local and statewide solutions to addressing this crisis," said County Board Supervisor Richelle Andrae (District 11).


The resolution cites a 2016 report from the National Institute of Justice that indicates that 84%, or four out of five, of American Indian and Alaskan Native women have experienced violence in their lifetimes, more than half of whom have experienced sexual violence.


Wisconsin has been ranked as sixth in the nation in sexual trafficking, according to the Human Trafficking Institute, with urban centers located in the hubs of the Interstate-90/94 corridor. This has led to many Native American women, girls, and two spirits being open to exploitation by traffickers. "Two spirit" is an umbrella term used by some Indigenous North Americans to describe Native people in their communities who fulfill a traditional third-gender (or other gender-variant) ceremonial and social role in their cultures.


"It is incredibly important that we shine a light on these women. Our silence only empowers those who seek to harm and exploit these women," said Supervisor Carousel Bayrd (District 8). "We recognize these Native American women, and we stand with their families and communities. And we pledge to work in Dane County to find justice for these women, and to address the racism and lack of culturally appropriate services for these women and their communities." 


The Board meeting will take place at 7:00pm, members of the public that are interested in attending the virtual meeting can register with the information available at the top of the agenda