LOS ANGELES, Calif. – Today, the LA County Board of Supervisors voted to pass a motion authored by Supervisor Hilda L. Solis to proclaim May 5, 2023, as “National Day of Awareness for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women.”

According to the National Congress of American Indians, American Indian and Alaska Native (AIAN) women are 2.5 times as likely to experience violent crimes, and at least twice as likely to experience rape or sexual assault crimes compared to all other races. In addition, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found that homicide is the third leading cause of death among AIAN women between 10 and 24 years of age and the fifth leading cause of death for women between 25 and 34.

A report by the Sovereign Bodies Institute indicated only nine percent of murders of indigenous women in California have ever been solved.

“It is deeply depressing that AIAN women and girls go missing at a higher rate than any other racial or ethnic group in the United States,” said Supervisor Solis. “This violence against AIAN women and girls is terrorizing our communities and to that end, must be eradicated. I am committed to continue working with Tribal partners to advance healing and achieve justice.”

The motion approved today also requests that the LA County Sheriff report back on the Sheriff’s Department’s compliance with the California Statewide Feather Alert Program (Feather Alert).

Last year, Assembly Bill 1314: the Feather Alert was signed into law by Governor Gavin Newsom. It was introduced by Assemblyman James Ramos, the first California Indian to be elected to the California State Assembly, as a way to combat the deadly epidemic of Missing and Murdered Indigenous People.

A Feather Alert allows law enforcement agencies to request the California Highway Patrol to initiate an alert when an Indigenous person has been kidnapped, abducted, or reported missing under unexplained or suspicious circumstances, and specific criteria have been met to permit alert activation. A Feather Alert will provide immediate information to the public to support the quick recovery of missing Indigenous peoples—working much like an Amber Alert.

“As home to the largest AIAN population of any county in the nation, we must do our part to ensure that we are utilizing this new and critical resource,” added Supervisor Solis. “The safety and well-being of AIAN women and girls depend on it.”

To read the full motion, click here.