As of Jan. 7, 2021, there are over 696 missing American Indian or Alaskan Native, including three in Kansas, according to the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System. A 2020 report using data from the Sovereign Bodies Institute, a nonprofit, Indigenous-led research organization, shows 2,306 Native American women and girls in the U.S are missing within the past 40 years, with 58% resulting in homicide.
It’s an issue that has always been front and center in the minds of Kansas’s Native American legislators and now they are working to give it the government attention a situation of this urgency requires.
“I know that this is a problem. I’ve always known that,” said Rep. Ponka-We Victors, D-Wichita. “Every time I travel on the highway by myself back to Wichita, I know I could be another statistic of not making it home.”