“We hope to see lawmakers take the momentum from the 2019 session and continue to support solutions to bring justice to Native people and communities. Reauthorizing the Murdered and Missing Indigenous Person Task Force and grant program is an important step forward. In addition, establishing a Missing Persons Review Committee and a Missing Persons Response Team training grant program is crucial in that it will unite communities and people of different backgrounds and authorize both the state-wide analysis and community-based solutions and training that are necessary to bring justice and safety to communities.
It’s impossible to overstate the harms the MMIW epidemic has had -- and continues to have -- on the lives of Native people across Montana and across the country. As a community, for years we have mourned the deaths and disappearances of far too many family and community members with no justice in sight. No family or community is immune to the pain caused by this tragic epidemic. When it comes to MMIW, these bills are essential to begin to eliminate the barriers to justice faced by Native people.”
Sharen Kickingwoman, Indigenous Justice Program Manager, ACLU of Montana