Published on May 05, 2021
"I am heartened by yesterday’s Presidential Proclamation of May 5, 2021 as Missing and Murdered Indigenous Persons Awareness Day. For tribal communities, this all-too-real epidemic has devastated families across our nations. Victims’ families and Native advocates have marked this day to remember those we have lost but have never forgotten, and my prayers are with all of the families in Indian Country who are awaiting answers or grieving their missing relatives.
Today as we remember them, our commitment to combating the crisis on behalf of our missing and murdered Indigenous relatives does not stop at awareness. We must continue to take action. Thousands of cases of those who are missing or murdered across Indian Country still remain unsolved. We welcome the creation of the Missing and Murdered Unit at Interior to help bring closure to these families. Tribal Nations have long worked to develop innovative solutions for their communities, and we are committed to continuing to work as partners with the federal government. I also call on Congress to move swiftly to enact life-saving legislation, beginning with the 2021 reauthorization of the Violence Against Women Act with stronger tribal provisions.
Today and every day, those who go missing or whose murders remain unsolved stay in the forefront of our hearts and minds, and motivate us to continue to strive for policy changes that will advance our goal of protecting our citizens and creating safe and vibrant tribal communities."