The Vanished: Missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls

Words by Tammy Ayer and Amanda Ray

Tears stream down 12-year-old Zamora Strong’s face as family and friends gather in honor of Rosenda Strong’s 32nd birthday Tuesday, April 16, 2019, at Yakamart, 111 Fort Road in Toppenish, Wash. Rosenda was last seen on Oct. 2 after visiting Legends Casino with a friend in Toppenish.

Dozens of women have vanished in and around the Yakama reservation. Sometimes, they just disappear. Sometimes, they're found dead months or years later. Rarely is anyone held to account.

 

Since 2017, the passion for honoring missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls and uplifting the voices of surviving family members has been ongoing and growing globally. 

 

May 5 is the National Day of Awareness for Missing and Murdered Native Women and Girls. These women deserve to have their stories told, which is why my team at the Yakima Herald-Republic is relaunching thevanished.org.

 

This site is dedicated to providing resources for families, victims, and keeping up with cases. Be sure to follow reports on this epidemic of violence against Native women, and the efforts to end it. 

 

Here are a few images from over the years of coverage at the Yakima Herald-Republic.