Reporting on Missing & Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls, Two-Spirit, Transgender People (MMIWG2T)

Fund for Indigenous Journalists

To bring awareness to the crisis of Missing & Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls, Two-Spirit and Transgender people (MMIWG2T), the Howard G. Buffett Foundation has given the IWMF a $750,000 grant to establish a three-year fund supporting U.S.-based reporting projects by Indigenous journalists on the issue.

“The crisis of MMIW [Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women] is the culmination of a spectrum of violence perpetrated disproportionately against Indigenous women—it reflects the intersection of domestic violence, sexual assault, trafficking, and many other crimes. These crimes occur due to a long history of government policies, programs, and laws that create conditions that leave Indigenous women more vulnerable to such crimes than other women.” – National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center

The Fund for Indigenous Journalists: Reporting on Missing & Murdered Women, Girls, Two-Spirit, Transgender People (MMIWG2T) directly supports Indigenous journalists’ reporting on violence that targets members of Indigenous nations, both on sovereign ground and in urban settings in the U.S. The dominant media narrative around Indigenous issues, including of Missing & Murdered Indigenous People (MMIP), is often criticized by Indigenous journalists as perpetuating stereotypes and lacking critical nuance – victimizing Indigenous people and ignoring their survivorship. Meanwhile, Indigenous people make up less than one percent of working journalists in the U.S. and have little access to major media outlets to tell their own stories to national audiences.

Starting in March 2022, applications will be accepted and reviewed on a rolling basis by an advisory committee comprised of distinguished Indigenous practicing journalists and editors, along with Indigenous thought leaders. The IWMF is conducting ongoing, targeted outreach to eligible journalists and Indigenous journalism groups to solicit proposals. Indigenous journalists affiliated with media outlets, as well as freelancers, are invited to apply.

In addition to monetary support, the IWMF is committed to providing editorial and pitching support to grantees.

Please read our FAQ page about the program. Eligible journalists can apply here.

Cover photo by Donovan Quintero (Diné)

The issue of Missing and Murdered Indigenous People is an injustice that has created many obstacles for our Indigenous Nations, as well as compromised the health and potential of our Indigenous communities both on sovereign land and in urban settings. It has impacted our communities for many generations, dating back to the beginning of colonization, and today continues to create hardships for the lives of many strong Indigenous people. This issue and the different paths that lead to it are often misunderstood and underreported in the media. This funding opportunity is set up for Indigenous journalists to focus in on the stories of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women, Girls, Two-Spirit and Transgender people. It’s also a chance to help turn the tide and create better media outcomes for more in-depth and Indigenous-led reporting.
Veteran Journalist Tara Gatewood, Citizen of the Pueblo of Isleta & Diné IWMF Director, Fund for Indigenous Journalists: Reporting on MMIWG2T