Experts, activists, community members and students will gather Nov. 1-8 to raise awareness of and find solutions for the issue of missing and murdered indigenous women in Nebraska. The 2019 Human Trafficking and Migration Initiative is hosted by the University of Nebraska–Lincoln’s Forsythe Family Program on Human Rights and Humanitarian Affairs. According to the Urban Indian Health Institute, Nebraska’s urban areas have the eighth-highest number of unsolved cases of missing indigenous women in the country, with Omaha having the third-highest number of cases of any city.

The week of events will begin with a keynote address by Sarah Deer, a leading expert on violence against Native women, at 7 p.m. Nov. 1 in the Nebraska Union Auditorium. Deer is a citizen of the Muscogee Nation of Oklahoma, member of the National Women’s Hall of Fame and a MacArthur Fellow. Her research and advocacy focus on the intersection of federal Indian law and victim’s rights, and this perspective will inform her Nov. 1 remarks. The address will be followed by a reception in the Heritage Room at 8:30 p.m.

On Nov. 5, the initiative, in partnership with the University of Nebraska InterTribal Exchange, will hold a Dish It Up conversation on the experiences of the university’s Native students. From 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. in the Unity Room of the Gaughan Multicultural Center, students will have the chance to speak about what it’s like to be a Native student at the university and how violence against Native people impacts the campus community. The University of Nebraska College of Law, in collaboration with the initiative, will host a panel of experts on legal issues surrounding missing and murdered indigenous women at noon Nov. 7. Interim Dean Anna Shavers will moderate the discussion, with three out of four panelists being Native women. The events will end with a panel discussion of community experts from 7 to 8:30 p.m. Nov. 8 in the Nebraska Union Auditorium. For more information, visit


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