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Idaho Indigenous women over-represented in report on missing and murdered people

Iris Samuels/AP
Family members of missing and murdered indigenous women in Montana gather in front of the state Capitol in Helena, Mont., Wednesday, May 5, 2021. They received colorful shawls in a traditional Native American ceremony called "wiping away of tears." From Washington to Indigenous communities across the American Southwest, top government officials, family members and advocates gathered Wednesday as part of a call to action to address the ongoing problem of violence against Indigenous women and children. (AP Photo/Iris Samuels)

Scores of missing Indigenous women have long been a focus of activists in the U.S. and Canada. Tribes in Idaho have been highlighting these unexplained and often ignored violent disappearances for years, calling for change.

Only recently have state and federal authorities begun addressing this issue in a comprehensive way. In 2019, former President Donald Trump signed an executive order to create a task force focused on missing and murdered indigenous people. Then in 2020, the Idaho legislature passed a resolution that acknowledged this issue as a crisis. Lawmakers supported funding efforts for research to learn more.

Idaho Matters checks-in with the two authors of the report: Melanie Fillmore is a second year doctoral student at Boise State’s School of Public Service and Boise State is a criminology professor Lane Gillespie.

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Frankie Barnhill was the Senior Producer of Idaho Matters, Boise State Public Radio's daily show and podcast.