La Crosse advocates press for action to halt cases of missing, murdered Indigenous women


LA CROSSE, Wis. (WKBT) – Indigenous women are murdered at a rate 10 times higher than any other ethnicity, and the number of missing indigenous women is even more troubling, according to the federal Department of Justice, 

May 5  is Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women Awareness Day.  Advocates in La Crosse and statewide are raising awareness. 

 No one likes to air their dirty laundry, but in this case putting the problem on display could save lives.  According to 2016 report from the Urban Indian Health Institute, there were close to 6,000 missing, American Indian women and girls. But just 116 cases were logged into the Department of Justice data base. 

“Today is about turning our grief into action,” says Shannon Holsey.

Members of Gov. Tony Evers new task force gather virtually traise awareness about the growing acts of violence that few Wisconsinites know much about.

“To stop this violence, it takes all of our communities,” says task force co-chair Justine Rufus.

The task force is calling for more attention and action itribal communities and the cities that surround them.

“We want to be that active and attentive bystander who, when we see something, we want to step up and sat stop that’s not right,” says New Horizons Executive Director Ann Kappauf. In a show of solidarity, Kappauf and staff hung red dress outside their office building.

Advocates in La Crosse and statewide hope education all draw more support. It starts by sharing the stories of the missing and murdered women and girls unable to speak for themselves.