Overcoming and adapting to generational trauma from genocide, colonization to present day gender-based violence, Indigenous communities have made efforts to combat violence against native people nationwide. Ongoing focus related to awareness and prevention for the overlooked gender-based violence among Indigenous women and girls is the focus of the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women (MMIW) movement. MMIW brings to light ethos of personal stories and experiences aiming to protect those vulnerable to poverty, domestic violence, addiction, trafficking and misplaced foster care placement. MMIW utilized digital crowd maps as a platform to assist in raising awareness about this cycle of violence among Indigenous communities. Research has identified “ethos of Indigenous data sovereignty, or self-determination in data collection and application, that interrogates settler data procedures relative to gender violence” (Miner, 2020, p. 1). What is crowd mapping? Crowd mapping collects and shares geographical or spatial information with the help from a large group of individuals or contributors. Identification for the women missing among native people was collected via social media campaigns such as #ImNotNext and #RedDressProject to critique datasets of government agencies. Research found that “networked structures that bind tactical crowdmapping and locative media come together in the informative image, with the potential to disrupt settler cartographic practice. They rely on user engagement with a relational data set to critique the relationship between violence, biased data and space through various methods of layering, compositing and linking” (Miner, 2020, p. 15). Why does this matter? Gender-based violence among Indigenous communities is overlooked, misidentified and government data sources are inaccurate. Along with MMIW, justice needs to be sought and addressed systemically.
Miner, J. D. (2020). Informatic tactics: Indigenous activism and digital cartographies of gender-based violence. Information, Communication & Society, 25(3), 431–448. https://doi.org/10.1080/1369118x.2020.1797851
Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women USA
Human Trafficking Capacity Building Center
New Mexico Indian Affairs Department
Coalition to Stop Violence Against Native Women
National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center