By Morgan Taylor, Reporter
OKMULGEE, Oklahoma – In recent years, May 5 has been recognized as a day of recognition for Missing and Murdered Indigenous People.
A proclamation came from President Biden, stating that May 5 would be the dedicated national day of recognition. The Muscogee Nation was mentioned in the proclamation for the efforts put forth in the initiatives and projects regarding MMIP.
The Muscogee Nation held an honor walk to support and spread the awareness of MMIP. Supporters were asked to wear red that day and many sported masks that pictured a red hand print over the mouth, a well-known image that represents victims of MMIP.
Citizens, employees and community members were invited to participate in an the walk around the trial located at Muscogee Nation Complex.
According to Muscogee Nation Family Violence Prevention Program Director Shawn Partridge, the number regarding MMIP have risen significantly since the reservation ruling.
“This is not because now that we are reservation more violence is happening, it was already happening,” Partridge explains. “Now our Lighthorse are often the first responders to our citizens so they are able to link victims with necessary advocacy.”
Partridge says that resources and law enforcement play a vital role in prevention.
“Our law enforcement and advocates play such a tremendous role,” Partridge said. They are working everyday to prevent our people from going missing or being murdered.”
Partridge said that the responsibly is a shared effort among the whole community.
“We want to encourage people that it is not just about wearing red or a mask with a hand print,” Partridge said. “It is so important that all of us today, take responsibility and we do what we can to help ensure that our families, our communities, and our nation are safe.”
Programs in place at the Muscogee Nation FVPP help prevent domestic violence, sexual abuse and other forms of family/relationship disputes.
“If we can build safer communities, we can help prevent people from going missing or being murdered,” Partridge said.
Though recent changes have left victims, survivors, and families with many questions, these changes have required increased communications among tribal, state, and federal partners.
For those seeking services or needing resources call MN FVPP at 918-732-7979. Additional contacts: MN District Court 918-758-1400 and MN Office of Attorney General 918-295- 9720.
In an emergency please contact the MN Lighthorse Tribal Police Department 918-732-7800.