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Indigenous People’s Day Program to Focus on #MMIW&R

City of Albuquerque hosting Native speakers, film screenings, performances and march for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Relatives (MMIWR) on Civic Plaza

In honor of Indigenous People’s Day, an official City of Albuquerque holiday, the Office of Native American Affairs is co-sponsoring a day of speakers, events and film screenings to raise awareness about Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Relatives, in collaboration with Ná’áł kíd (Moving Pictures) Productions,  NM Federation of Democratic Women-Laguna Pueblo, and Diné Sááni (Navajo Women) for Justice.

This grassroots coalition of advocates came together in 2019 when the late NM Senator John Pinto introduced Senate Memorial 38, in support of then-U.S. Congresswoman Deb Haaland’s call for a national investigation into MMIWR.

According to the New Mexico MMIWR Task Force, Albuquerque and Gallup are in the top 10 in the United States for MMIW cases, with 660 cases of Native people reported missing or murdered over the five-year period from 2014-2019.

“We must take every opportunity to raise awareness and push for thorough investigations of every person who goes missing, including those who are Native American. While these cases sometimes cross jurisdictions, each person is a valued member of our community and deserves answers to be brought to light and justice to be served,” said Mayor Tim Keller.

Mayor Keller will issue a proclamation recognizing Indigenous People’s Day for the fourth year since his administration began. The day became an official city holiday in 2019.  Mayor Keller will also sign City Council Resolution 21-205, which designates the Albuquerque Indian School burial site that is located at 4-H Park as a sacred site, acknowledges the intergeneration trauma experienced by the Native community from the boarding school policy, and commits to working with tribal and other stakeholders toward reconciliation and healing.

Charmaine Jackson, MMIWR advocate and director of Ná’áł kíd (Moving Pictures) Productions said, “On behalf all of our supporters and families, we are so grateful Mayor Keller recognizes the urgency of this national epidemic and is willing to seek justice for these women and men in Albuquerque and become a role model at the national level.”

The screening in Albuquerque on Indigenous People’s Day will be the worldwide premiere of the re-edited cut of Somebody’s Daughter (1492-), a film supported by indigenous luminaries, including U.S. Poet Laureate Joy Harjo, Oscar-winning actor Wes Studi, and activist/author Winona LaDuke. The screening is scheduled for 5:30 pm. Events begin at 2:30 with an invocation.

“We hope that many city employees and residents will join us in a show of solidarity for indigenous rights and justice for the people who have been murdered or gone missing,” said Dawn Begay, Native American Affairs Liaison for the City of Albuquerque. “This is a national emergency and one that we can address locally by working together, across jurisdictions.”

For more information and a program agenda, please go to CABQ.GOV/OEI 

For data about the epidemic, go to https://www.iad.state.nm.us/policy-and-legislation/missing-murdered-indigenous-women-relatives/.

For more information about the film, go to: https://www.somebodysdaughter-mmiw.com/