The local Oklahoma headline of the Shawnee News-Star read "Woman Lying in the Road Gets Hit, Killed by Car near Shawnee" but I am so much more than that. I was taken from my family on the night of January 9th, 2021 under questionable circumstances.
My name is Skye (Griggs) Jim, I was 30 years old and a mother of five beautiful children. I was a daughter, grand daughter, a sister, a niece, and an auntie. I was Sac and Fox and Shawnee. My maternal great grandmother was the late Beatrice Onzahwah. My paternal grandmother was the late Cora Bass. I was also Bear clan and, like my relatives before me, I belonged to this land.
I belonged here.
In order to understand my story, it is also important that you understand the issue of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women (MMIW).
According to the 2018 Urban Indian Health Institute Research Report:
* Murder is the third-leading cause of
death among American Indian and Alaskan Native women.
* Native women are murdered and sexually assaulted 10X the national average.
* 29 years old is the median age of the victims.
* 1 out of 3 Native women are sexually assaulted in their lifetime.
* 67% of these assaults are perpetrated by non-natives.
* In 2015 there were 5,712 known incidents yet only 112 cases were logged into the federal database and 95% of those cases were not covered by national or international media.
*Oklahoma is one of the top ten states with highest numbers of MMIW cases.
You should know; however, that my story may or maybe unique. You see, I have fallen under both categories of Missing and Murdered.
At the young age of 15, I went missing and in that, I experienced some trauma, but I survived. Initially, local police dismissed the urgency expressed by my mother. It wasn't until she contacted the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children that someone finally listened. After explaining, the Center immediately put my mother in direct contact with the Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation (OSBI).
A Command Center was set up locally, the OSBI searched my home, did a forensic search on our computer and my mother had to provide them my toothbrush for DNA evidence "just in case".
It became a federal interstate case, but my family fought for me and, unlike many missing Indigenous Women and Girls, I was in danger but I was located and my family was able bring me home alive.
It is difficult for my family knowing that they fought for me but have now lost me 15 years later to yet another act of colonial violence. Colonial violence against both Indigenous Women and Men is real. It's tragic and affects our families and communities in so many ways.
Please learn more about MMIW here: