SALT LAKE CITY — The Elizabeth Smart Foundation has shut down its latest campaign aimed at bringing more awareness to the “Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women” (MMIW) crisis.
Fox13Now reports the group MMIW USA said they were excited to team up with the foundation, but they have now accused the foundation of exploiting their platform to serve their own interests.
Elizabeth Smart was shown on a video launching the week-long fitness challenge called “Find them all.”
Smart returned to her family in March of 2003, after being abducted for nine months. In this latest campaign, she pledges to find all women.
“There are so many who are never found — who are never even looked for. They just disappear and nothing ever happens. Unfortunately, none more so than Native and Indigenous women and girls,” she said.
She explains that all proceeds will go toward the prevention and recovery of missing and Indigenous women.
In a Facebook post, MMIW USA issued a warning to their supporters:
“We were approached by this organization to “collaborate” with them to “find all women.” At first, of course we were excited that our anglo counterparts were showing an interest in aiding us. Our team initially spoke with a representative of their organization in order to get a feel for what they were trying to accomplish.
“Unfortunately, we were greeted with a condescending tone from a man who was culturally insensitive. In short, it seemed that their interest in helping us was grounded in a desire to self-promote and from a woman who had little knowledge of the #MMIW crisis; and displayed no interest in learning more about our struggle when it comes to finding and getting justice for our people.”
FOX 13 News reached out to the Elizabeth Smart Foundation. They explained that they approached MMIW USA and several organizations to help provide content and people who could tell their story.
Despite the falling out, Indigenous activist and runner Jordan Daniel, who was included in the fitness challenge, says she believes the foundation means well.
Written by TAMARA VAIFANUA, Fox13Now.com.
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