Yurok MMIP Tip Line: 1-833-YRK-MMIP or 1 (833) 975-6647
The To’ Kee Skuy’ Soo Ney-Wo-Chek’ (I will see you again in a good way) Project aims to establish a more effective system of investigation surrounding MMIP cases as well as an enhanced level of protection for Native women, girls and two-spirit individuals living in the state of California.
Since the Gold Rush, tribes in California have lost countless women, girls and two-spirit individuals to violence. Most commonly, these crimes are perpetrated by non-Indians and away from tribal jurisdictions. These incidents impact every aspect of tribal communities, ranging from an increased need for services for survivors and their families to heightened strain on tribal law enforcement. The Yurok Tribal Court initiated the To’ Kee Skuy’ Soo Ney-Wo-Chek’ Project to improve outcomes of MMIP cases in the state and eventually the entire United States. There are more federally recognized tribes and tribal citizens in California than any other state.
The Yurok Tribal Court contracted with Sovereign Bodies Institute (SBI) and Dr. Blythe George for its first two yearly reports to collaboratively compile and analyze data on past and ongoing MMIP incidents. The third year To’ Kee Skuy’ Soo Ney-wo-chek’ contracted with Dr. Blythe George, Dr. Jessica Elm, and Nan Benally to complete the data analysis and build the much-needed Tribal Toolkit. To’ Kee Skuy’ Soo Ney-wo-chek manages the much-needed database for Northern California, which is available to tribes, Indigenous service providers, and other relevant stakeholders upon request. The project is currently based within the Yurok Tribal Court.
Currently, a trio of databases track missing persons cases, including the federal government’s National Missing and Unidentified Persons System (NamUs), which until recently, did not make victims’ tribal affiliations accessible. The National Center for Missing and Exploited Children is similarly lacking as is the State of California’s version of this digital tool. According to a SBI report, 62% of all missing Indigenous women, girls, and two-spirit people in the state are not documented in any of these data repositories.
The To’ Kee Skuy’ Soo Ney-wo-chek’ Program had documented 165 MMIWG2 cases for the first-year report and completed its second-year report in July, 2021. The multidisciplinary team also interviewed numerous survivors and their families. With consent, their stories will be used to inform law enforcement, legislators and court officials as well as direct service providers and others about the many facets of this issue.
In addition to creating the comprehensive database, the project endeavors to introduce a formal protocol, integrating tribal, county and federal law enforcement resources into the response to MMIP cases. The first recommendation is for local and federal law enforcement agencies to form cooperative agreements with their tribal counterparts. In conjunction with clarifying jurisdictional concerns up front, this will ensure that an adequate quantity of personnel is dedicated to these cases, 97 percent of which occur outside of tribal law enforcement jurisdictions. To that end, the Yurok Tribe hired its first Prosecutor in 2022 and followed with the creation of the Yurok Office of Tribal Prosecutor that hired its first Prosecutor Investigator in 2023, who is tasked with bringing a fresh set of eyes to current MMIP cases in our service area.
The To’ Kee Skuy’ Soo Ney-Wo-Chek’ Project is funded by US Department of Justice’s Coordinated Tribal Assistance Solicitation (CTAS) grant and the Bureau of Indian Affairs Tribal Justice Systems support.
This project is managed by Yurok Tribal Court’s Supervising Staff Attorney Angi Cavaliere and supported by its new Victim Advocate, Aurelia Alatorre. For questions regarding project information or survivor support services please contact via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or complet the appropriate contact/tip/notification form below.
Please see check out our Facebook page at @Seeyouagaininagoodway for events and ways in which you can participate. Wok-hlew’
Access our 3 yearly reports below.
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