Senators Murkowski, Cortez Masto, and Tester Push Administration to Implement Bipartisan Laws to Protect Native Women
U.S. Senator Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska) joined Senators Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) and Senators Jon Tester (D-Mont.) in pushing the administration to implement the bipartisan Not Invisible Act and Savanna’s Act—which were both signed into law in October 2020—to curb the crisis of missing and murdered Indigenous women (MMIW). The administration has missed several key implementation deadlines, and the senators are specifically demanding that the administration share weekly updates with Congress to ensure that progress is being made.
“For far too long, the loved ones of missing and murdered Indigenous people went without answers, access to resources, or justice,” said the Senators. “Congress acted to rectify this nation-wide problem with legislation, and we request an update on the implementation of the provisions outlined in the Not Invisible Act and Savanna’s Act. ...We remained concerned by the lack of progress shown and our constituents deserve to know the status of your work.”
Senators Murkowski and Cortez Masto have worked together on bipartisan efforts to protect Native communities. The Not Invisible Act creates a point person in the Bureau of Indian Affairs to improve coordination of violent crime prevention across federal agencies and establishes the commission that DOI and DOJ continue to work to assemble, comprised of law enforcement, tribal leaders, federal partners, service providers, and survivors, who will ensure that the Departments work together to protect Native women and to address the epidemic of missing persons, murder, and trafficking of American Indians and Alaska Natives. Savanna’s Act, named in honor of Savanna LaFontaine-Greywind, requires federal law enforcement to create standard guidelines on responding to these crimes and increase data collection on them.
The full text of the letter is available HERE.