WASHINGTON — Wednesday, July 26, at 12:30 p.m. MT / 2:30 p.m. ET, U.S. Senator Tom Udall, vice chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, will join Committee Chairman John Hoeven (R-N.D.) in leading an oversight hearing titled, “The GAO Reports on Human Trafficking of American Indian and Alaska Natives in the United States.” Federal data on human trafficking in Native communities is limited, but available information suggests human trafficking in the United States frequently targets vulnerable populations, which would include Native Americans who disproportionately face high rates of poverty and trauma. The committee requested that the Government Accountability Office (GAO) — Congress’ independent investigative agency — examine the extent of human trafficking of Native Americans in the United States, and research the frequency with which law enforcement agencies have encountered it, the services that are available to victims, demographic information, efforts to increase prosecutions, and other federal initiatives.
The committee will hear testimony from several witnesses, including the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) Director Tracy Toulou of the Office of Tribal Justice. Udall will question Toulou on how DOJ plans to respond to GAO’s findings, to more effectively collect and maintain data on investigations and prosecutions of human trafficking in Indian Country.
Witnesses will include:
Ms. Gretta L. Goodwin, PH.D., Director, Homeland Security and Justice Issues, U.S. Government Accountability Office, Washington, DC
Mr. Tracy Toulou, Director, Office of Tribal Justice, U.S. Department of Justice, Washington, DC
Mr. Jason Thompson, Acting Deputy Director – Justice Services, Bureau of Indian Affairs, U.S. Department of the Interior, Washington, DC
Ms. Alison E. Kear, Executive Director, Covenant House Alaska, Anchorage, AK
Ms. Nicole Matthews, Executive Director, Minnesota Indian Women’s Sexual Assault Coalition, St. Paul, MN
Immediately before the oversight hearing, the committee will vote on the following bills:
S. 1285, Oregon Tribal Economic Development Act
H.R. 984, Thomasina E. Jordan Indian Tribes of Virginia Federal Recognition Act of 2017
Wednesday, July 26, 2017
WHAT: Udall to preside as vice chairman at Senate Committee on Indian Affairs oversight hearing
TIME: Approximately 12:30 p.m. MT / 2:30 p.m. ET
WHERE: 628 Dirksen Senate Office Building. Watch live here.