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Missing and Murdered Indigenous Peoples Crisis is Addressed by US Justice and Interior Departments

Missing and Murdered Indigenous People
S. Baxter Clinton
Missing and Murdered Indigenous People

According to a press release from the US Attorney General's Office.

The Departments of Justice and the Interior today released their joint response to the Not Invisible Act Commission’s recommendations on how to combat the missing or murdered Indigenous peoples (MMIP) and human trafficking crisis.

The response recognizes that more must be done across the federal government to resolve this long standing crisis and support healing from the generational traumas that Indigenous peoples have endured throughout the history of the United States.

Attorney General Merrick B. Garland said,

“These recommendations are an important and necessary step toward healing the trauma, pain, and loss that Tribal communities have endured for generations,”“The Justice Department is committed to working with our partners at the Department of the Interior to put an end to the missing or murdered Indigenous persons and human trafficking crisis.”

Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland said,

“Addressing violent crimes against Indigenous peoples has long been underfunded and ignored, as a cause of intergenerational trauma that has affected our communities since colonization. Through historic efforts like the Not Invisible Act Commission, we’re identifying recommendations created by Indian Country, for Indian Country. This will ensure that epidemics like the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Peoples Crisis and Human Trafficking are addressed with the resources they demand.”

The Justice and Interior Departments’ response addresses the Commission’s areas of concern including: Law enforcement and investigative resources; Recruitment and retention of law enforcement; Data collection and reporting; Cross-jurisdictional coordination; Family and survivor resources; Improving public safety resources; and Alaska-specific issues.

The Not Invisible Act Commission was created by the Not Invisible Act, the enactment of which was led by Secretary Haaland during her time in Congress.

The Commission included law enforcement, Tribal leaders, federal partners, service providers, family members of missing or murdered individuals, and survivors.

As mandated by the Act, the Commission developed recommendations for federal government actions to take on focused topics to combat violent crime against Indigenous people and within Indian lands, and to address the epidemic of missing people, and the murder or trafficking of American Indian and Alaska Native peoples, as specified under the law.

The Missing or Murdered Indigenous Peoples crisis began to get federally addressed in 2021 at the White House tribal nations summit, where President Biden signed an Executive Order.

Shantar Baxter Clinton is the hourly News Reporter for KSFR. He’s earned an Associates of the Arts from Bard College at Simons Rock and a Bachelors in journalism with a minor in anthropology from the University of Maine.