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OHA: Office of Hawaiian Affairs

OHA Board Chair Statement on Missing and Murdered Native Hawaiian Women and Girls Day

Today, the nation encourages change through a National Day of Awareness of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls. In Hawaiʻi we focus specifically on our Indigenous Native Hawaiian wāhine and keiki affected by this horrendous issue.

Native Hawaiian girls represent a disproportionate number of missing children in Hawaiʻi; Native Hawaiian women and girls represent a disproportionate number of sex trafficking victims in Hawaiʻi; and Native Hawaiians are overrepresented in all reported data from the Domestic Violence Action Center’s Helpline. Women and girls in situations of sex trafficking, sexual exploitation, sex abuse, and domestic violence are at risk for going missing or being murdered.

“There has been much change in the last decade amongst museum professionals and anthropological scholars that demonstrates a better understanding of Indigenous peoples and the past injustices committed against us. We certainly acknowledge this and applaud the re-humanization of these individuals and institutions,” said OHA Board Chair Carmen “Hulu” Lindsey. “Today, these actions allow us to heal, not only as individuals, but as a lāhui (Hawaiian nation).”

MM Red Dress graphic
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Red Dress Infographic – Long Description

The Office of Hawaiian Affairs, in partnership with the Hawaiʻi State Commission on the Status of Women, through House Concurrent Resolution 11 (2021), convened a task force to identify causes of the problem, as well as to identify critical barriers to data collection and information sharing that would lead to more accurate and timely reporting. The recommendations of the task force are important steps toward ensuring the decrease and ultimately the elimination of harm to Indigenous women and girls.

We mahalo Rep. Stacelynn Eli for introducing the House legislation, and Rep. Adrian Tam for his support of today’s Red Dress Art Activism events in Waikīkī, as there is a need to bring public awareness to the potentially toxic intersection in Hawaiʻi of tourism, poverty, sex trafficking and violence. We also mahalo Mayor Rick Blangiardi for highlighting this issue across Honolulu County with a Missing and Murdered Native Hawaiian Women and Girls Proclamation.

It will take the efforts of all of us to bring meaningful change to this issue as we continue to work toward bettering the conditions of Native Hawaiians.

Missing and Murdered Native Hawaiian Women and Girls Day: Tourism, Poverty, Sex Trafficking & Domestic Violence

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