Democratic Women Support MMIW Movement
We had a very successful breakfast earlier this month in Coeur D’Alene, Idaho with Tai Simpson and Paulette Jordan speaking to the audience. Tai Simpson’s talk about the MMIW movement was potent and the IDWC supports the efforts to bring awareness to the plight of indigenous women across Idaho.
As President Gini Ballou stated, “we don’t have to be Native to care about our indigenous sisters.” According to the most recent American Community Survey, the Native American population comprises 1.1% of the total population of Idaho. Yet this population, especially among Native women, are known to experience some of the highest rates of murder, sexual violence, and domestic violence. Promoting awareness of issues that affect those who are vulnerable in our state is an important step in making progress.
Tai is a social change advocate with the Idaho Coalition Against Sexual and Domestic Violence and a member of the Nez Perce Tribe of Idaho. She is an organizer for the Indigenous Idaho Alliance and fierce champion who uses storytelling to make a difference in her community. Her presentation was powerful and emotionally charging while it also educated the audience about the MMIW movement.
The MMIW movement is about the epidemic of missing and murdered indigenous women across the nation, including Idaho. Idaho has five recognized native tribes that have felt the impact of this tragedy across each of their communities. Tai reported that there are currently between 15,000 and 17,000 unsolved cases involving indigenous women. Often times, these cases are not categorized correctly and do not receive much media attention if any. Lack of data and attention hinders the efforts of families and friends to find their loved ones and to see justice served.
Paulette Jordan, the 2018 Democratic candidate for Governor of Idaho and a member of the Coeur d’Alene Tribe, also spoke briefly at the breakfast. She spoke about the MMIW movement as well and the impact that it has had on tribal communities. She said, “if we don’t take care of indigenous people here, then who are we as humanity?” She also spoke about the efforts made by some legislators across the country to formulate legislation to address this issue. These efforts continue to be ongoing at this point in time.
We would like to thank our fabulous speakers for their contributions to educating us about the plight of indigenous women across Idaho and our nation. The Idaho Democratic Women’s Caucus would also like to thank those who came to the breakfast in order to help support our efforts in getting more Democratic women elected into public office.