Calls for Data and Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women

In a recent news article about the State of New Mexico’s MMIW Task Force,  there were the repeated calls for more data. Most striking were these words from Mescalero President Aguilar: “Only through task forces like this one, where we can build relationships and share ideas, can we overcome the hurdles that have long stymied efforts to address this pervasive problem.”

And, from Navajo First Lady Phefelia Nez came this: “The shortage in data collection contributes to the ongoing problems, including the lack of prosecution and lack of coordination among local, state, and federal law enforcement. This needs to change so our indigenous families can begin to restore balance, love and harmony.”

That more numbers or task forces are needed to build relationships, share ideas, restore balance or love or harmony, is a bureaucratized way to dance around other truths.

More data, task forces and government intervention are not needed to:

bridge the isolation between communities,

not rape children,

provide appropriate mental health services,

address violent behaviors and mores that hold victimization of women as the norm,

heal individuals, families and communities,

teach boys about healthy sex and relationships,

teach girls about healthy sex and relationships,

create avenues to alleviate poverty,

fuel creativity,

not buy sex,

teach relationships between all things,

not demean others,

help your neighbor,

change the culture of gaming and leisure industries,

intervene,

say something when you see something,

stop taking bribes and diverting financial resources to services,

give healing work to the community,

speak the truth

love,

embody respect.

 

These things require courtesy and courage, not additional bureaucracy.

 

 

 

 

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