Newly-proposed federal legislation tackles a silent crisis—the epidemic of missing and murdered indigenous women and girls.
Rep. Deb Haaland (D-N.M.) introduced H.R. 2438—the Not Invisible Act of 2019—on Wednesday, just ahead of the National Day of Awareness for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls. Last month, a bipartisan group of senators introduced similar legislation in the upper chamber.
“Women are disappearing and dying in Indian country. We must act,” Haaland said Sunday.
The Not Invisible Act (pdf) would create an advisory committee composed of law enforcement, tribal leaders, federal partners, service providers, and survivors tasked with making recommendations to the Department of Interior and Department of Justice; establish best practices for law enforcement on the epidemic; and establish a position within the Bureau of Indian Affairs to be filled by an expert in charge of improving coordination of violent crime prevention efforts across federal agencies.
To mark the day of awareness, Cherokee writer Rebecca Nagle provided statistics to outline the shocking scope of the problem. Her Twitter thread Sunday noted, in part:
Haaland also noted the bleak situation and issued a call-to-action in an op-ed at The Guardian on Thursday.
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