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OJJDP Addresses Alarming Rates of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Persons

President Biden proclaimed May 5 as Missing or Murdered Indigenous Persons Awareness Day, to honor these missing and murdered individuals and highlight the Department's commitment to work with Tribal Nations to end the violence and inequities that drive this crisis. 

“Across Indian Country, justice for the missing has been elusive for too long. Too many Native families know the pain of a loved one being declared missing or murdered, and women, girls, and LGBTQI+ and Two-Spirit individuals are bearing the brunt of this violence.”

—President Biden

In 2023, of those American Indians and Alaska Natives reported missing to the FBI's National Crime Information Center (NCIC), 66 percent were youth between the ages of 12 and 17. Seventy-one percent of females and 60 percent of males reported missing were under the age of 18.

“The majority of American Indians and Alaska Natives reported missing continue to be children under the age 18," said OJJDP Administrator Liz Ryan. "These children are among the most vulnerable of our population. We will continue to provide training and technical assistance, as well as forge key partnerships with Tribal leaders, organizations, and advocates to address persistent issues of violence in Native American communities." 


  • Visit the Department of Justice's Missing or Murdered Indigenous Persons webpage.
  • Read the OJJDP/USMS/FBI 2023 NCIC fact sheet on missing Indigenous youth.
  • Access OJJDP's Missing and Exploited Children webpage.
Date Published: May 8, 2024