“This is not just an American Indian and Alaska Native issue; this is a people issue.”

- E. Ingrid Cumberlidge, Aleut and Tlingit

MMIP and Human Trafficking

Generations of American Indians and Alaska Natives have mourned missing and murdered loved ones. Their calls for justice and healing through grassroots activism and advocacy have created nationwide attention and increased support for this Missing or Murdered Indigenous People (MMIP) crisis.

Missing or Murdered Indigenous Women (MMIW), Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls (MMIWG), Missing and Murdered Indigenous Relatives (MMIR), or other names specific to a Tribal community (such as Missing and Murdered Diné Relatives, MMDR, in the Navajo Nation) all refer to this crisis.

Families are going to need support as well. When a loved one goes missing, what the family experiences is very traumatic and devastating. When they come home, those families need a lot of support to understand trauma, trauma response, what their loved ones have gone through, and how to better support their loved ones.

- Carolyn DeFord, Puyallup Tribe of Indians

Federal Funding for MMIP

Tribal Victim Services Set-Aside (TVSSA) funds can be used to support the family members of victims of MMIP. This funding can be used to generate awareness about their loved ones and cases. TVSSA funds can be used to—

  • Increase MMIP community awareness.
  • Develop MMIP response protocols between multiple agencies and organizations.
  • Offer education on the intersections of MMIP with other crimes (e.g., domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking, and human trafficking). 
  • Promote a Tribal program’s healing services for families and survivors. 

TVSSA funding is non-competitive. For more details about the types of victim service activities that can be supported through this TVSSA program, see the fiscal year 2022 TVSSA Program Announcement.

In addition to TVSSA, there are other federal funding programs available to support the response to MMIP.

Educational Resources to Help Bring Healing and Justice

Working together will help bring healing and justice to the victims and families of MMIP. Click on the headers below to find basic educational materials and resources to get you started in supporting MMIP work.


Questions & Answers

These questions and answers come from Ask an Expert and Talking Circle conversations where victim service practitioners share their experiences supporting survivors of human trafficking. 


If you or a loved one are experiencing human trafficking, you are not alone.

Strong Hearts Native Helpline and the National Human Trafficking hotline are available 24/7 to listen. All conversations over phone, text, and online chat are confidential and anonymous.  

During your conversations, if you desire, you may receive referrals to state or local resources.