Hoeven convenes oversight hearing on Indian Country's missing and murdered

American Indian and Alaska Natives experience some of the highest victimization rates when compared to other populations

News Release

United States Senate Committee on Indian Affairs

Senator John Hoeven (R-ND), chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, today convened an oversight hearing on the crisis of missing and murdered individuals in Indian Country.

During this Congress, the Committee has held oversight and legislative hearings relating to the issues of public safety, law enforcement, victims services and human trafficking in Indian Country.

The Committee has also advanced the following priorities to address public safety in Indian communities:

  • Public Law 115-166, the Ashlynne Mike AMBER Alert in Indian Country Act.
  • S.1953, the Tribal Law and Order Act reauthorization.
  • S. 1870, the Securing Urgent Resources Vital to Indian Victim Empowerment (SURVIVE) Act.
  • S. 1942, Savanna’s Act.
  • S.Res. 401, National Day of Awareness for Missing and Murdered Native Women and Girls.
  • GAO oversight on human trafficking in Indian Country and of Native Americans in general – the report was issued in 2017.

“According to data received from the Department of Justice, American Indian and Alaska Natives experience some of the highest victimization rates when compared to other population groups,” said Hoeven. “Compounding this tragedy is the fact that the true number and causes of missing tribal members is unknown, and for too many victims, the perpetrator has not been caught and brought to justice. These families deserve justice and closure.”

The committee received testimony from:

Panel I

  • MR. GERALD LAPORTE, Director, Office of Investigative and Forensic Sciences, National Institute of Justice, Washington, DC
  • MR. ROBERT JOHNSON, Assistant Director of the Criminal Investigative Division, Federal Bureau of Investigations, Pittsburgh, PA
  • MR. CHARLES ADDINGTON, Deputy Associate Director, Bureau of Indian Affairs, Office of Justice Services, Washington, DC

Panel II

  • THE HONORABLE AMBER CROTTY, Delegate, Navajo Nation Council, Window Rock, AZ
  • MS. PATRICIA ALEXANDER, Co-Chair, VAW Taskforce, Central Council of Tlingit & Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska, Juneau, AK
  • MS. KIMBERLY LORING-HEAVY RUNNER, Missoula, MT

For witness testimony and video of the hearing click here.

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