WHEREAS, all Alaskans have the right to safety and justice; and
WHEREAS, there is a nationwide crisis of missing and murdered Indigenous persons (MMIP) and a serious problem in Alaska; and
WHEREAS, the Urban Indian Health Institute’s (UIHI) 2018 report ranked Alaska as fourth among states and Anchorage as third among cities in the United States for having the highest number of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls. In 2021 Alaska reported 229 cases of missing and murdered loved ones, 149 missing and 80 murdered; and
WHEREAS, Alaska Natives experience disproportionate rates of domestic violence, sexual assault, and other violent crimes, according to the Indian Law and Order Commission’s 2013 report. Alaska Native women are overrepresented in the domestic violence victim population by 250 percent, Alaska Natives comprise 19 percent of the population in Alaska, but represent 47 percent of the reported rape victims in the State; and
WHEREAS, tribal communities and advocates continue to build awareness and call for greater response to the crisis of missing and murdered Indigenous people, which has led to increased communication between tribal communities and state agencies, and an improved understanding of the scope of the crisis. The need continues for stronger collaboration and allocation of resources, as well as improved coordination in response and investigation in order to increase safety and reduce the risk of harm; and
WHEREAS, the State of Alaska is committed to continuing its efforts to reduce sexual assaults, which, according to the DPS Felony Level Sex Offenses Report for 2020, resulted in 30 percent fewer victims reported statewide between 2018 and 2020, while working with Alaska Tribes in combatting this crisis, and offering support to communities and families who have for years borne the burden of honoring, remembering, and searching for those who remain missing and victims of unsolved murders.
NOW THEREFORE, I, Mike Dunleavy, GOVERNOR OF THE STATE OF ALASKA, do hereby proclaim May 5, 2022 as:
Missing and Murdered Indigenous People Awareness Day
in Alaska, and encourage all Alaskans to take a proactive role in ending the crisis of missing and murdered Indigenous persons by supporting law enforcement and victim advocacy, including the rights of victims under State law, and efforts of Alaska Native Tribes to work with State, local, and other entities and raise awareness of the issues.
Dated: May 5, 2022