DIJ uses multiple, interconnected strategies for addressing the crisis of MMIWG2S.
The first is the stewarding data with and for the benefit of our Indigenous community. The methods, collection, and dissemination center and uplift Indigenous worldviews. This self-determination of data shifts the power of knowledge and information back to the people to self-determine and advocate for needed change. This shift contributes to Indigenous communities and tribes making informed decisions with their data for sustainable solutions they create- this is data sovereignty from grassroots mobilization.
Data Systems Advocacy
The second strategy is advocating for systems change. DIJ identifies systemic level gaps then targets these with front line actions. The intimate case work in stewarding data means carrying the stories of our people and seeing system failures and patterns. This translates into being able to name and identify systemic issues for change. Direct responses have formed when our families see they are not the only ones experiencing injustice. We make system level recommendations for data collection and other necessary changes that would improve not only the issue of MMIWG2S crisis but overall data information for Alaska Native peoples advocacy.
The third necessary strategy is having healing centered spaces for this work led from within our community. DIJ recognizes justice is healing and healing is justice. Any strategy for addressing MMIWG2S will only be sustainable with healing. We currently lead a community driven project of building a cedar strip canoe dedicated to MMIWG2S. This project was at the request of our Elders and has brought the community together for collective healing. DIJ is a partner in the Alaska MMIWG2S Working Group and co-hosts community building events throughout the year.