USGT calls for awareness of missing and murdered indigenous women and girls

USGT passed a resolution Tuesday to shed light on the epidemic of violence against indigenous women and girls, Two Spirit and transgender individuals

The Undergraduate Student Government Tempe Senate unanimously passed a resolution to formally recognize the current epidemic of missing and murdered indigenous women and girls in the state of Arizona, as well as Two Spirit and transgender individuals. 

Senate Resolution 5 was introduced at a regular session meeting on Tuesday evening.

The resolution calls for USG to promote awareness of the issue throughout November, which is Native American Heritage Month, by encouraging students to wear red on every Wednesday of the month in solidarity with the indigenous women and girls and the Two Spirit and transgender individuals. 

The original legislation only addressed indigenous women and was amended to include indigenous girls, Two Spirit and transgender individuals. 

The resolution also calls for the director of the Office of Student Rights and Responsibilities to acknowledge the high rates of violence against indigenous women and to offer the appropriate resources and support for victims. 

Katherine Hostal, a USGT senator for Barrett, the Honors College and sophomore studying finance, discussed the importance of passing the resolution during the meeting while addressing the other senators.

"I think this is really incredible and we should all stand in support of this. I know the actual state Legislature did this as well," Hostal said. 

Back in April, the Arizona Legislature passed, and Gov. Doug Ducey signed, a bill with the same intention. House Bill 2570 called for an investigation into missing and murdered indigenous women in Arizona as well as data and causes of violence against the women. 

In a tweet about the bill, Gov. Ducey expressed his pride in passing the legislation and said "The crisis of missing and murdered indigenous women and girls must be addressed."

The bill was a result of hard work and lobbying on the part of indigenous activists before the Legislature.

According to a study done in 2017 by the Urban Indian Health Institute, there were 506 cases of missing or murdered indigenous women in 71 urban cities across the United States. Fifty-four of these cases occurred in Arizona. 

Arizona has 22 federally recognized tribes, which is mentioned in the USG resolution. ASU itself sits on the homelands of both the O'odham and Pee-Posh and has over 3,000 indigenous students, 1,789 of which are women.  

Correction: A previous version of the article used the wrong version of the resolution passed by USGT. It has been updated to reflect the changes. This article was also updated to better specify the resolution's goals. 

Reach the reporter at and follow @jadamson333 on Twitter. 

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