Conversation: MMIR Crisis

Four women from our special magazine issue about the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Relatives crisis in Minnesota joined us in discussion to:

  1. Walk through the genesis for the need for an MMIR task force,
  2. Explore the difficult-to-find data about how big the issue is and why it gets underreported,
  3. Openly discuss why it is so easy for abuse, trafficking, and murder to occur invisibly in our communities,
  4. Examine why systemic issues are underneath the prevalence of violence and lack of public safety.
  5. We also discussed specific action steps the women encouraged readers to take.

The speakers included:

Sen. Mary Kunesh Explains the Central Issue

Nicole MartinRogers, Wilder Foundation: Why has this issue been so hard to track?

Mary Sam, a Mille Lacs perspective: Why is this considered an invisible topic in our rural communities?

Sheila Lamb, Cloquet City Council: How systems make it easier for violence to impact public safety

Action Step #1: Contact Legislators Now About SF 1989

SF 1989 would establish a small office focused on the MMIR crisis for two years, perhaps at $500K per year, to track, connect with officials, and work toward best practices at reducing the numbers of so many missing and murdered Indigenous people in Minnesota every month. The office is in danger of not being funded this year. The committee in charge of moving the bill forward is headed by Sen. Limmer and other Judiciary & Public Safety committee members.

Action Step #2: Encourage media and policing to improve its reporting

Action Step #3: Stand up and use your voice