WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven, chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, today issued the following statement after President Trump declared today Missing and Murdered American Indians and Alaska Natives Awareness Day. Hoeven previously helped introduce a Senate resolution with Senator Steve Daines to declare today “National Day of Awareness for Missing and Murdered Native Women and Girls.” Further, the senator helped secure the passage of Savanna’s Act earlier this year, legislation he cosponsored that requires reporting on missing and murdered Native Americans.
“I join the President and my colleagues in the Senate in working to raise awareness about the crisis of missing and murdered Native American women and children,” said Hoeven. “At the same time, as chairman of the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs, we have been working on a bipartisan basis to advance important legislation, including Savanna’s Act and the SURVIVE Act, legislation I sponsored which provides vital resources to improve public safety in tribal communities and help stop the violence taking too many lives.”
Savanna’s Act, which is named for Savanna LaFontaine-Greywind from North Dakota who was tragically murdered in 2017, also directs the Department of Justice and the Department of the Interior to consult with Indian Tribes while developing national law enforcement guidelines. The bill was introduced by Senator Heidi Heitkamp last Congress and was reintroduced by Senator Lisa Murkowski in the current Congress.
The legislation comes as part of Hoeven’s efforts to improve law enforcement in tribal communities. In addition, the senator is working to pass:
S. 210, the Tribal Law and Order Reauthorization and Amendments Act of 2019, which would reauthorize and strengthen several key programs to improve tribal justice and public safety for Indian communities.
S. 211, the SURVIVE Act, which would expand critical victims services by requiring a 5 percent allocation from the Crime Victims Fund be allocated directly to Indian Tribes.
As a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Hoeven secured a key provision of his SURVIVE Act in the Senate’s Fiscal Year (FY) 2020 appropriations bill by securing more than $150 million to assist victims of crime on the reservations. He has done this since FY2018.