May 5 is Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women’s (MMIW) Awareness Day.

In 2021, as a follow-up to the 2016 Repudiation of the Doctrine of Discovery, the ELCA Church council adopted the Declaration to American Indian and Alaska Native People by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. It reads, in part:

“…We commit to advocacy for and being in solidarity with Tribal Nations, MMIWGR organizations, families, and friends who have gone missing or who have been murdered.

“Indigenous women and girls go missing at a much higher rate than any other group in the United States. Indigenous men also disappear at a higher rate than other males. There are 2 foci in this commitment. One is advocacy. Tribes, states, and the US government can and should pass legislation to coordinate work to alleviate the problem. The second focus is relational. Synod leaders can establish relationships with Tribal Nations, express solidarity, help with prevention, with search and rescue, with comforting the anxious and bereaved. Congregations can, as well.”

How to honor MMIW Awareness Day (May 5) in your congregation:

  1. Wear red (T-shirts available from the ELCA) and take pictures. Use social media to raise awareness. Use hashtags: #MMIW #NoMoreStolenSisters #TruthandHealing #ELCA
  2. Organize a prayer vigil (using this resource).
  3. Include MMIWGR in the prayers for the day.
  4. Say the names of MMIWGR (this would be especially meaningful if you also did the research to identify locally/regionally specific MMIWGR) and light candles for them during worship.
  5. Invite (and compensate) a local Indigenous expert to share on this topic as part of your educational time.
  6. Invite (and compensate) local Indigenous musicians to play/sing during worship.

This new resource guide provides an extensive list of resources that you and your community can use to learn more about MMIW & ways to take action! To download, click HERE.

For more information on Indigenous Ministries and Tribal Relations of the ELCA, please visit:  Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women – Evangelical Lutheran Church in America ( and Indigenous Ministries and Tribal Relations – Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (