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Press Release

U.S. Attorney's Office Joins in Recognizing Missing and Murdered Indigenous Persons Awareness Day, May 5, 2023

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of Oregon

PORTLAND, Ore.— The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Oregon joins its partners across the federal government, as well as people throughout American Indian and Alaska Native communities, in recognizing May 5, 2023, as National Missing and Murdered Indigenous Persons Awareness Day. Responding to unacceptable levels of violence that have caused a crisis of Missing or Murdered Indigenous Persons (MMIP) is a priority for the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the Department of Justice.

“The Justice Department is marshalling the full strength of its resources to confront the crisis of Missing or Murdered Indigenous Persons, which has devastated the lives of victims, their families, and entire Tribal communities,” said Attorney General Merrick B. Garland.  “Addressing this crisis requires a whole-of-government approach, and we are grateful for the partnership of Tribal and other law enforcement agencies across the nation that are working alongside the Justice Department to help reduce crime and support victims in American Indian and Alaska Native communities.”

The department’s response to the MMIP crisis is a whole-of-department effort taking many forms. One year ago today, Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco joined Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland to launch the Not Invisible Act Commission with the mission of reducing violence against American Indians and Alaska Natives. Later this year, the commission will deliver recommendations for addressing the MMIP crisis to the Attorney General and Secretary Haaland.

“Missing or Murdered Indigenous Persons Awareness Day calls on our nation to pause and honor the loved ones who have gone missing or who have been the victims of violent crime,” said Deputy Attorney General Lisa O. Monaco. “Acknowledging the many American Indian and Alaska Native people who have suffered, and continue to suffer, from the pain of a missing loved one or of violent crime serves as an important reminder of the urgency and importance of the department’s work to respond to the crisis of missing or murdered indigenous persons. The Justice Department—including our dedicated agents, analysts, and prosecutors—remains steadfast in our pledge to work as partners with Tribal governments in preventing and responding to the violence that has disproportionately harmed Tribal communities.”   

“The Justice Department is committed to using every resource at its disposal to combat the Missing or Murdered Indigenous Persons Crisis,” said Associate Attorney General Vanita Gupta. “In addition to our core law-enforcement work, we are providing grant funding and guidance to help Tribes develop response plans for missing-persons cases, partner effectively with local law enforcement, and provide resources for victims of crime.”

In July 2022, Deputy Attorney General Monaco issued a memorandum reaffirming the department’s commitment to addressing the disproportionately high rates of violence experienced by American Indians and Alaska Natives and the high rates of indigenous persons reported missing. For more information about the Justice Department’s efforts to address the MMIP crisis, please visit the Missing or Murdered Indigenous Persons section of the Tribal Safety and Justice website.

In early 2022, the District of Oregon established an MMIP Working Group to increase multi-agency communication and collaboration in support of and response to Oregon-connected MMIP cases. The working group includes at least one representative from each of the nine federally recognized Tribes in Oregon, the FBI, Bureau of Indian Affairs, U.S. Department of Interior Regional Solicitor’s Office, U.S. Marshals Service, Oregon Department of Justice, Oregon State Medical Examiner’s Office, and Oregon State Police.

If you have questions about the U.S. Attorney’s Office MMIP program, please contact MMIP program coordinator Cedar Wilkie Gillette by emailing or by calling (503) 727-1000.

Updated May 5, 2023

Indian Country Law and Justice
Community Outreach