California tribes, lawmakers host week-long historic commemoration of missing or murdered Native Americans May 1 to May 5

Call to action around National Missing or Murdered Indigenous

People Day (May 5), as two Calif. tribes under emergency declarations

SACRAMENTO—As the national day to commemorate Missing or Murdered Indigenous People (MIIP) on May 5 nears, the California Native American Legislative Caucus will mark the first week in May with a round of activities highlighting disproportionate cases of violence against Native Americans. California has two tribes that have declared a state of emergency because of violence against their tribal members.

Round Valley Indian Tribes declared a State of Emergency in April, after two members were founded murdered, the latest victims in Northern California of Missing or Murdered Indigenous People. The tribal action was preceded In December of 2021 by the Yurok Tribe, in Humboldt County. The Yurok Tribe action followed seven women reported being approached by possible traffickers and the still unsolved case of Emmilee Risling, reported missing in October 2021. The Yurok Tribe has been at the forefront in confronting the crisis and called for a summit of California Tribes and others held last year to address the issue. Summit participants called for implementation of a public notification alert when Native Americans go missing—the 2022 “Feather Alert” law (similar to the AMBER Alert) authored by Assemblymember James C. Ramos (D-San Bernardino).

MMIP WEEK OF CAPITOL ACTIVITIES

Tuesday, May 2—8:30 to 9:15 a.m. news briefing in State Capitol Room 317on the vital issues spotlighted this week. Attending will be tribal chairpersons, including two who have issued emergency declarations on this issue, as well as Ramos, other lawmakers, advocates, and members of the Assembly Select Committee on Native American Affairs. (Livestreamed on Ramos’ Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/events/1312871316103331/ and YouTube: https://youtube.com/live/M-VxCzR2COo?feature=share) Agenda attached to email

Tuesday, May 2 through Friday, May 5—Capitol Dome illuminated in red for first time ever to commemorate Missing or Murdered Indigenous People.

Tuesday, May 2, 9:30 a.m. to 12 noon—Assembly Select Committee on Native American Affairs informational hearing on MIIP entitled, “Not Invisible: California’s Work to Combat the Crisis of Missing and Murdered Indigenous People.” State Capitol, Room 126. Among those participating are Ramos, select committee chair; tribal leaders; law enforcement representatives; and advocates. (Televised at: https://www.assembly.ca.gov/schedules-publications/todays-events )

Wednesday, May 3, 6:30 p.m. to approximately 8:30 p.m.—Candlelight vigil and program, state Capitol west steps. Anticipate 800 to 1,000 people. Tribal leaders, lawmakers, advocates, Native American cultural performances. (Livestreamed on Ramos’ Facebook page, https://www.facebook.com/AsmJamesRamos )

Thursday, May 4 at 9 a.m.—Assembly Floor Session. Assemblymember Ramos will open the session with a Native song and prayer memorializing MIIP. Vote also set on ACR 25, designating May as Missing and Murdered Indigenous People Month.

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