MINNEAPOLIS (AP) — Ivanka Trump and Acting Interior Secretary David Bernhardt were visiting a Minneapolis suburb on Monday to open an office dedicated to investigating cold cases involving missing and murdered Indigenous peoples.
The office is part of an effort to address violence against Native Americans, particularly women and girls, which advocates say are often overlooked by law enforcement nationwide. Only 116 of the nearly 6,000 cases of missing and murdered Indigenous women reported in 2016 were listed in the Department of Justice’s database, according to the National Crime Information Center.
U.S. Attorney General William Barr in November announced a nationwide plan to develop protocols for law enforcement to respond to missing and slain Native American persons cases and to improve data and information collection.
Minnesota lawmakers established a state Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls task force last year composed of elected officials, law enforcement and tribal representatives to bring awareness and craft recommendations for the Legislature to address the issue.
Earlier this month, Republican U.S. Rep. Dan Newhouse of Washington state sent a letter to Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy urging two pieces of legislation to address the violence against Indigenous women be considered by the House before its August recess. The two bills — Savanna’s Act and the Not Invisible Act — passed unanimously in the House judiciary committee in March.
Source: CBS Minnesota