Another young Indigenous woman, 26-year-old Amanda Dakota Webster was slain December 1, at a hotel in Florence, Kentucky. Webster is a Navajo woman from Cameron, Arizona on the reservation. She had been staying in Florence working in the construction industry to support her three young sons.
Of the thousands of missing and murdered Native people, the vast majority of cases remain unsolved. This case has an arrest. A suspect, Jesse A. James, has reputedly admitted to stabbing and killing Webster. He was in court today but few new details were learned. He is expected to be indicted and bound over facing murder, tampering with evidence and identity theft. James is locked up on a $1 million bond.
The tragic death of Amanda Webster further emphasizes the plight of Indigenous women throughout the country. Nationwide, the voices of Indigenous people have united to raise MMIW awareness but that is not enough. Every person in this country should be outraged as this is a lack of protection in best case and continued genocide at worst.
Why are Native American women going missing and facing violence at disproportionate rates? According to a 2016 National Institute of Justice Report, 56% of Native women have experienced sexual violence in their lifetime, and 38% were unable to receive any type of victim services. The high rates of sexual violence along with Native women going missing or murdered is at more than ten times the national average.
A recent study by the Urban Indian Health Institute studied 506 cases. Cited in the study, 95 percent were not covered by media outside of their local market. This is why it must be spoke of and shared. Bring it to light, fix it. One case received 47 percent of the national coverage — that of Savanna LaFontaine-Greywind, a member of the Spirit Lake Tribe who was pregnant when she was murdered by her Fargo, North Dakota, neighbor in 2017.
These facts are real. Actions need to be taken to protect these women and children. This message is for Non Natives. Step up. The Indiginous community has been united and loud, without fixes, and sometimes without even acknowlegement. Enough.
The tragic death of Amanda Webster brought us to post this message here today. We hope it makes it to someone willing to stand and speak out against this crisis. It has to stop. Remember Amanda Dakota Webster
Some useful links will be posted below.
Missing & Murdered Indigenous Women: Resources & Information ND
Coalition to Stop Violence Against Native Women (CSVANW)
Oil Company “Man Camps” Sex Trafficking Native American Kids and Adults