WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, U.S. Senator Mazie K. Hirono (D-HI) announced the passage of a bipartisan Senate resolution—led by U.S. Senators Steve Daines (R-MT) and Jon Tester (D-MT)—designating May 5th, 2023, as National Day of Awareness for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG). The resolution, introduced by Senator Hirono, also calls upon people across the country to commemorate the lives of missing and murdered American Indian, Alaska Native, and Native Hawaiian women and girls.
“Today, we remember all of the Indigenous people in Hawaii and across the country who have been stolen or murdered. We will not forget you,” said Senator Hirono. “Last year, we made important progress to finally enable Native Hawaiian organizations to use funds from the Violence Against Women Act to support Native Hawaiian survivors of gender-based violence, but our work is far from over. We must all work together to raise awareness about the disproportionate violence that Native people face and continue to fight to end this crisis.”
In addition to Senator Hirono, the resolution was also introduced by Senators Brian Schatz (D-HI), Martin Heinrich (D-NM), Alex Padilla (D-CA), Maria Cantwell (D-WA), Catherine Cortez Masto (D-NV), Ben Ray Luján (D-NM), Tina Smith (D-MN), John Fetterman (D-PA), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Patty Murray (D-WA), Lisa Murkowski (R-AK), Kyrsten Sinema (I-AZ), Dan Sullivan (R-AK), Chuck Grassley (R-IA), Kevin Cramer (R-ND), John Hoeven (R-ND), James Lankford (R-OK), Pete Ricketts (R-NE), Mike Rounds (R-SD), and Jerry Moran (R-KS).
The full text of the resolution is available here.
Senator Hirono has been a vocal advocate for the Native Hawaiian community and efforts to combat violence against Native Hawaiians. Last December, President Biden signed into law legislation introduced by Senator Hirono to allow Native Hawaiian survivors of gender-based violence to access critical programs and resources provided by Congress through the Violence Against Women Act (VAWA). Last August, she pressed FBI Director Christopher Wray to do more to protect the Native Hawaiian community from sexual exploitation at a full Judiciary Committee hearing and emphasized the need for the FBI to include the Native Hawaiian community in its efforts to address the missing and murdered Indigenous people crisis and violence against Native communities.