Undergraduate Honors Thesis


“Until They’re All Home”: An Examination of State Violence and Transformative Possibilities in the Crisis of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women Public Deposited


    In this paper, I critically examine State responses to the crisis of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women (MMIW) in the United States and identify its causes across colonial history. I then offer recommendations for improving immediate responses to MMIW, as well as strategies to properly rectify and prevent the continuation of violence against Native women. Engaging with historical and contemporary testimonies, policies, and critical theory, I argue that to accrue land and capital, the United States has relied on the ideological and institutional dehumanization of Native women across colonial memory. I then illustrate that contemporary violence against Native women is a legacy and recycled form of colonialism: as a result of convoluted State jurisdictional policy and the dehumanization of Native women imbued in American narratives, law enforcement regularly neglects, obstructs, and even perpetrates MMIW cases, facing few if any consequences for their (in)actions and consequently the majority of violent perpetrators go free. The existing State responses to MMIW invest in these neglectful, violent, and punitive law enforcement agencies and further entrench Native communities in the colonial systems that originally opened our wounds. I posit that to remedy the MMIW crisis, the Native community must divest from the State and approach community remedies both systemically and individually: by countering colonial ideologies through critical consciousness building; and by healing generational wounds through intergenerational storytelling. In this way, I propose that fusing traditional teachings with contemporary lenses of Critical Consciousness and Transformative Justice expands our imaginaries and thus the possibility of transformative futures. By examining the crisis of MMIW as a systemic open wound, we can situate this contemporary movement as an opening to heal from all deadly colonial forces, starting by bringing our women home. 

Date Awarded
  • 2023-04-10
Academic Affiliation
Committee Member
Granting Institution
Last Modified
  • 2023-04-21
Resource Type
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