Great Plains Action Society was a proud participant of the Healing Justice Project Cohort, which is a collaboration between the Movement Voter Project and Camila Cabello.
MISSING & MURDERED INDIGENOUS RELATIVES INITIATIVE: PROTECT THE SACRED
Ending Colonial Violence to Indigenous Peoples & Standing with Victims & Families
To continue to be trusted leaders in providing advocacy and prevention of violence to Indigenous communities in the Great Plains area through grassroots healing justice.
Our vision is to address and help end violence to Indigenous Peoples by providing the necessary tools to educate and empower our communities on and off the reservation.
What we Do
Our Protect the Sacred Initiative is unique in Iowa and Nebraska. We move beyond reactive solutions and work hard to educate, empower, heal, and activate folks to make lasting change. We do this through a variety of methods such as healing workshops, direct actions, self-defense classes, mutual aid giveaways speaking engagements, writing articles, producing mini-documentaries, cultural programming, political engagement events, supporting MMIR families through our Legacy Fund, and educating Sioux City police and parole officers to increase cultural and historical awareness about Indigenous Peoples. Find out more about all of the above here!
For Indigenous folks, culture is a part of who we are and so we feel that it is fundamental to be culturally-relevant when we do our healing justice work. We want to be able to provide resources that our ancestors practiced and lived, but remain open-minded to other cultures as well.
Trust is very important while working with families, survivors, and communities that have experienced trauma. Trust is built over time and needed when practicing healing justice.
Integrity is what you do behind closed doors while no one is watching. We strive to be the best versions of ourselves so that we can model the visible change we want to see in our communities.
We are creating resources while partnering with others to provide resources where they are needed the most. If we don’t have the answer or the resource, we will try and find it or create it.
We would like to educate and train youth that are coming up. This means we need to provide the resources, tools, and experience to them so that they can also do the same for future generations to come.
We pride ourselves in our commitment to provide quick and direct relief to our families, survivors, and communities that have experienced this public health crisis in any shape or form.
Being born Indigenous is a political act as settler descendant society is still intent on erasing our sovereignty and very existence. We are usually left out of important national conversations but yet we suffer some of the highest rates of violence, sexual assault, suicide, and depression in the country. Many of our youth suffer serious hardships that rob them of their childhood, which forces them to grow up before their time. By middle age, many of our relatives are still suffering from intergenerational trauma and abusing drugs and alcohol.
It is no surprise to our Indigenous communities that many of our people fall through the cracks. With little to no protection and resources, our Indigenous relatives fall victim to sex trafficking, murder, rape, and other unspeakable crimes. As we continue to see our system fail our Indigenous people, we can no longer sit back and watch our relatives go end up missing and murdered. First Nations have taken upon themselves to protect themselves and raise awareness. First Nations are demanding justice where law enforcement and legislation have turned their heads away from this epidemic.
With the history of this land, Indigenous peoples face a lot of adversities and hardships. The epidemic known as #MMIR (Missing and Murdered Indigenous Relatives) or popularly termed as #MMIW (Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women), has recently gained more attention. However, this epidemic started as soon as settlers made contact with the First Nations of Turtle Island. Throughout centuries of degradation and false imagery, Indigenous people are portrayed in a negative connotation. Indigenous folks are continuously being oversexualized in movies and imagery. From this false imagery (usually in movies and books) comes a troubling fascination that puts Indigenous peoples at danger for exploitation.
An important part of our work concerns our Legacy Fund, which supports families of missing and murdered Indigenous Peoples. Without any help or funding, many families and grassroots organizers are left to make proactive solutions. Great Plains Action Society is a grassroots organization that is helping to solve that problem. We raise funds to for victims and their families in their healing process and help them demand the justice that their loved ones deserve. All proceeds go to legal fees, memorial planning, travel/lodging (for court or #MMIR-related events), our Healing Justice workshop, and domestic violence prevention (self-defense training, educational events, etc.).
We would like to extend our gratitude for our "on-the-ground" grassroots organizations who truly put in the hard work in collecting data, providing safe spaces, searching for our relatives, and any other capacity that deals with this trauma work. It is not easy. We extend our support and hearts out to families, friends, and anyone who has been affected by the loss of a loved one, a co-worker, a sister, a brother, a child due to physical, psychological, and emotional abuse. We will continue to serve as Indigenous allies to those individuals.