Statement by National NOW President Christian F. Nunes
WASHINGTON, D.C. — Starting today, NOW celebrates Native American Heritage Month, honoring the history, legacy, and contributions from the Native American community.
This past year, Alaskans elected the first Alaska Native member of Congress, Mary Peltola, who is also the first woman to represent Alaska in the House. While Representative Peltola’s victory was a step towards diversifying our nation’s leadership, we also recognize that more needs to be done to protect and support women amongst tribal communities. The epidemic of missing and murdered indigenous women is a crisis that must be addressed. The horrifying rates of violence and murder that native women face coupled with the lack of justice for these crimes warrants swift action and accountability. As we celebrate hard-fought and well-deserved wins in the Native American community, we must remember the hardships these women navigate while being sisters, mothers, daughters, friends, and more to us.
As we celebrate Native American Heritage Month in 2022, I urge you to uplift success stories like Rep. Peltola’s, while acknowledging so much more needs to be done to protect and support indigenous women.
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The National Organization for Women (NOW) is the nation’s leading membership-based advocacy group dedicated to defending women’s rights, advancing equality and combating injustice in all aspects of social, political and economic life. Through educating, mobilizing, and convening a vast network of grassroots activists across the country, NOW advocates for national, state and local policies that promote an anti-racist and intersectional feminist agenda. Since its founding in 1966, NOW has been on the frontlines of nearly every major advancement for women’s rights and continues to champion progressive values today. More about NOW’s efforts and resources is available at NOW.org.