June 19, 2019

Hoeven Holds Legislative Hearing to Receive Testimony on Five Bills to Improve Public Safety in Tribal Communities


Click here to watch video of Chairman Hoeven’s opening remarks


WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven (R-ND), Chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, today convened a legislative hearing to receive testimony on the following bills:


S. 227, Savanna’s Act, enhances the response to missing and murdered American Indian and Alaska Natives by improving access to Federal criminal databases; requiring data collection; and directing the Attorney General to review, revise, and develop law enforcement and justice guidelines.
S. 288, the Justice for Native Survivors of Sexual Violence Act, provides Indian Tribes the jurisdiction to prosecute crimes of sexual violence committed by non-Indian offenders and helps to deter future crimes committed in Indian country.

S. 290, the Native Youth and Tribal Officer Protection Act, expands the ability of Indian Tribes to enforce the Special Domestic Violence Criminal Jurisdiction over crimes involving Native children and tribal law enforcement officers.
S. 982, the Not Invisible Act of 2019, provides coordination and furthers prevention efforts between the Secretary of the Interior, outside organizations, and other Federal agencies; and creates a Joint Advisory Committee on Reducing Violent Crime Against Native People in the Department of the Interior and the Department of Justice (DOJ).
S. 1853, Bridging Agency Data Gaps and Ensuring Safety (BADGES) for Native Communities Act, requires increased reporting of missing persons and unidentified cases by the DOJ, and the Department of the Interior law enforcement; codifies and provides funding for the DOJ Tribal Access Program pilot; and increases public safety and law enforcement coordination efforts and better handling of cases involving Native missing and murdered persons.


“Addressing public safety and law enforcement issues within Indian country is a priority for the Committee,” said Hoeven. “Today, we heard from two Administration officials and two tribal officials about how these five bills will help provide tribal communities and law enforcement officials with important tools to both prevent and investigate cases involving missing and murdered Native people. As Chairman, I will continue to work with my colleagues on these pieces of legislation and the important matters that they intend to resolve.”


The Committee received testimony from:


MR. TRACY TOULOU, Director, Office of Tribal Justice, U.S. Department of Justice, Washington, D.C.


MR. CHARLES ADDINGTON, Deputy Bureau Director, Office of Justice Services, Bureau of Indian Affairs, U.S. Department of the Interior, Washington, D.C.


THE HONORABLE MICHELLE DEMMERT, Chief Justice, Central Council Tlingit and Haida Indian Tribes of Alaska, Juneau, AK


THE HONORABLE LYNN MALERBA, Secretary, United South & Eastern Tribes, Washington, D.C.


For witness testimony and video of the legislative hearing, click here.