Inmates help the ‘Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women’ organization

Local News

In the United States, Native American women are more than twice as likely to experience violence than any other demographic.

Some are murdered, others are still missing according to a non-profit organization. ‘Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women’ is hoping to change those statistics and over the weekend, they got some unlikely help.

A Pow-Wow inside prison walls is drumming up support to help Native American women, who are victims of crime.

“There are so many women who are missing or have been missing or abused sexually, it’s just sad to think about,” Connie Hopkins, vice-president of prisoner support said.

That’s why inmates at the South Dakota State Penitentiary are trying to help.

They made earrings and sold them to raise money and awareness about Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women.

“We made 200 pairs, we successfully raised $5,000 selling them at $25 a pair,” Cody Hopkins said.

They donated two checks for $2,500 each to Urban Indian and Health of Sioux Falls and Rapid City.

“So we can put it in a fund to help the families with whatever projects they need, teaching women how to be more aware of their surroundings they’re involved in or give them the tools they need to take care of themselves,” Craig Returns From Scout said.

Connie Hopkins, vice-president of prisoner support, says the money will be used in a variety of ways to bring awareness to what some say is an epidemic when it comes to Native American women.

“It’s going to help them get more media out there or pay for fliers or to help people travel to go look for these women,” Hopkins said. “It’s all over the nation, we are missing more and more women every day, they’re being abused, kidnapped even with young women, it’s just sad thinking about what’s happening and there’s not too much media about it,” Hopkins said.

They’re hoping events and stories like this will help.

Here are some other statistics. According to MMIW, four out of five of Native women are affected by violence today. The U.S. Department of Justice found that American Indian women face murder rates that are more than 10 times the national average.

To learn more about Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, click here.

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