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Researchers at Arizona State University are tackling the issue of missing and murdered Indigenous people in the state – they’re trying to figure out why it’s happening and what can be done to stop it.
Alex Gonzalez reports.
Professor Kate Fox directs ASU’s Research on Violent Victimization Lab.
She says the data speaks for itself – the killing of Indigenous females has been increasing over the past 40 years.
Through data obtained through grassroots organizations and law-enforcement agencies, Fox and her team along with the state have determined 160 Indigenous females were known to police to be murdered between 1976 and 2018 in Arizona.
She says that number is expected to be much higher, as many cases go unreported. Fox says only recently has the conversation shifted to look at all indigenous people.
“There is a growing recognition across the nation and across the globe that this is not something that only impacts Indigenous women and girls. It does impact all indigenous peoples.”
In 2019, Arizona passed a law that established a study committee to investigate how serious of a problem this was in Arizona.
Fox says there is still a lot of work to be done and hopes Arizona, as well as other states, continue to investigate.
Fox says many systemic factors rooted in racial injustice, violence and colonization are responsible for the crisis.
The Alutiiq Museum in Kodiak, AK honors Chris Wooley as its volunteer of the year.
He is being recognized for his research about children who were sent to boarding schools in the Lower 48.
KMXT’s Brian Venua reports.
The Alutiiq Museum’s Volunteer of the Year Award recognizes folks who spend time working on projects with the museum. And this year’s award went to Kodiak resident Chris Wooley for his work on the Carlisle Repatriation Project.
He says while he’s grateful for the award, he was just one part of the research team.
“It was mixed emotions, I was really happy, but I wanted to share it with the others in the group that are doing just as much work as I am.”
The research project is aimed at contacting descendants of Indigenous children taken from Alutiiq lands to a boarding school in Pennsylvania, and repatriating their remains.
Part of his work with the project included contacting the family of Anastasia Ashouwak, whose remains were brought back to the village Old Harbor for reburial in her family’s plot last year.
His team is still searching for the descendents of Pariscovia Friendoff, another Native girl taken from nearby Woody Island.
She was taken to the “Outing Program,” where children were sent to be acculturated to western lifestyles.
“We’re trying to kind of track down any reference to Pariscovia, who had spent four years in the Outing Program with families in Pennsylvania. (It’s) not clear if there’s any relatives – it doesn’t sound like there are. But her story is a bit of an enigma.”
Wooley says it’s been more difficult to find records of Pariscovia than it was for Anastasia.
The National Congress of American Indians has acquired rights to the “Crying Indian,” the Keep America Beautiful anti-pollution campaign of the 1970s.
Ownership of the public service announcement has been transferred to NCAI by the non-profit Keep America Beautiful, which decided to official retired it.
The ad featured stereotypical imagery of Native people and misappropriated Native culture.
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