At a time when there is a growingly robust dialogue on the importance of representation of Indigenous peoples in data, the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has thrown the issue into an even sharper focus. Due to public health disparities such as reduced access to clean water, disproportionately high rates of comorbidities such as diabetes, and barriers to accessing high-quality healthcare, the COVID-19 pandemic has had a severe and disproportionate impact on Indigenous and American Indian and Alaska Native (AI/AN) communities throughout the United States.
This report is the result of six months of research and collaboration between Sovereign Bodies Institute (SBI), the California Rural Indian Health Board, Inc. (CRIHB), and partnering Tribal Health Programs to inform California Indigenous and tribal communities and key stakeholders on the successes and challenges of current data collection on gender and sexual violence against Indigenous and AI/AN people in California, with particular emphasis on how to enhance practices in light of the pandemic. In conducting this work, SBI focused on intimate partner violence, domestic violence, and missing and murdered Indigenous women, girls, and two spirit people (MMIWG2). As part of an assessment of existing surveillance practices, SBI sought to examine how rates of such violence have shifted from 2016 to 2021.