Official: Consistent Data Elusive In Tracking Missing And Murdered Indigenous People

Feb 23, 2021

The nation’s first Missing and Murdered Indigenous Persons (MMIP) report issued by a U.S. Attorney’s Office came out last week.  But comprehensive data -including that for Oregon - is still an issue.

The cover sheet for the U.S. Attorney's Office District of Oregon report, plus photos of some of the missing Indigenous people with Oregon ties.
Credit Brian Bull / KLCC

By State Justice Department standards, there are eleven missing and eight murdered Indigenous people connected to Oregon.  But multiple sources of such data use different definitions, which can create information gaps.

As part of a federal effort to streamline data and develop bonds with tribal communities, the District of Oregon U.S. Attorney’s Office will collaborate with the state’s nine recognized tribes this year.

Cedar Wilkie Gillette, who's MMIP Coordinator for the District of Oregon.
Credit Provided by Cedar Wilkie Gillette.

Cedar Wilkie Gillette is the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Persons Coordinator for the District.  She says it’s a milestone that her office released the report, but it’s also a call for help in making it more thorough.

“This is what our data looks like, we know it’s not all of the data, we know it’s an incomplete picture. And we need help in updating the data and knowing about the cases, and assisting and working on them.”

Gillette adds the COVID-19 pandemic has curbed her plans to personally visit all tribes in Oregon, but they’ll carry on virtually for now.

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