Newhouse proposes indigenous women’s awareness day

A bipartisan resolution sponsored on May 4 by U.S. Rep. Dan Newhouse (R-WA) would designate May 5, 2021 as the National Day of Awareness for Missing and Murdered Native Women and Girls. 

“We must continue to take up the banner for those who no longer are able to,” Rep. Newhouse said. “They deserve answers, and I will continue working to deliver them.”

Rep. Newhouse introduced House Resolution (H.Res.) 369 with original cosponsors that include U.S. Reps. Dave Joyce (R-OH), Pete Stauber (R-MN), Tom Cole (R-OK), Ken Calvert (R-CA), and Suzan DelBene (D-WA).

If enacted, H.Res. 369 would express the lawmakers’ solidarity with the families and loved ones of missing and murdered indigenous women, and it would call on the people of the United States to commemorate the lives of American Indian and Alaska Native women whose cases are documented and undocumented in public records and the media, according to a bill summary provided by Rep. Newhouse’s office.

“While Native Americans make up 2 percent of our state’s population, native women account for 7 percent of our state’s reported missing women,” said Rep. Newhouse, adding that “there are currently 32 open cases of [missing and murdered indigenous women] on or near the Yakama Nation reservation alone.”

The congressman also pointed out that such “staggering numbers” require that a Cold Case Task Force Office be established in Yakima, which “is imperative if we want to keep moving forward in addressing this crisis.”

The resolution has been referred for consideration to the U.S. House Natural Resources Committee.