Landmark federal study on MMIP Crisis released
News from the offices of Senator Daines and Senator Tester
U.S. SENATE — U.S. Senators Steve Daines and Jon Tester both announced the long-awaited release of a landmark study by the federal government on the Missing and Murdered Indigenous People crisis. Tester and Daines called for this study and lead a bipartisan effort to require the Government Accountability Office to conduct the study and release its findings.
“We’ve made progress in addressing the MMIP crisis here in Montana and across the country, but we still have more to do, and this report is an important step in the right direction,” Tester said.
Daines wrote in a letter to the Biden Administration, “The recent GAO report found the Department of Justice and Department of the Interior have failed to abide by the laws set forth in the ‘Not Invisible Act of 2019’ and ‘Savanna’s Act.’”
“As of June 2021, DOJ had not conducted the outreach required by ‘Savanna’s Act’ in order to enter information regarding missing persons into the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System. The deadline for this outreach to occur was April 8, 2021. Additionally, under the ‘Not Invisible Act,’ the Secretary of the Interior alongside the Attorney General was tasked with appointing members to a Joint Commission on Reducing Violence Against Indians by Feb. 7, 2021. According to GAO, as of Oct. 15, 2021, no members were appointed, and a draft plan to accomplish this requirement did not include the milestones for all interim steps,” Daines continued.
Tester stated, “We now have a better understanding not only of the challenges this crisis presents, but a clear path to set about fixing it. I am going to keep holding the federal government accountable as we work to implement solutions and ensure families and communities in Indian Country remain safe and secure.”