Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women Study Committee Bill signed by Arizona Governor Ducey
24th Navajo Nation Council - Office of the Speaker
Navajo Nation Council Delegates Amber Kanazbah Crotty and Eugene Tso were present at the signing of House Bill 2570 by Arizona Governor Doug Ducey in Phoenix on Tuesday, Aug. 13, 2019. The bill creates a 21-member study committee to address the issue of Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and Girls in Arizona.
“The crisis of missing and murdered indigenous women and girls is a heart-wrenching reality that tribal communities have been experiencing for far too long,” said Governor Ducey.
House Bill 2570, introduced by Representative Jennifer Jermaine, passed unanimously in the Arizona State Legislature. The committee will produce a comprehensive study for the legislature that will provide information to help reduce and end violence against indigenous women and girls in the state.
“In some tribal communities American Indian women face murder rates 10 times the national rate. Yet, there is little to no data to show what exactly is happening,” said Senator Victoria Steele.
“The signing of this bill gives us a way to speak out for those who have been silenced. We will continue fighting for a safer world for missing and murdered relatives,” said Delegate Crotty.
The committee will detail tracking and collection of data on violence against indigenous women and girls and it will determine how many are missing. The bill sets a November 1, 2019 date for a report from the committee detailing its activities and recommendations for administrative or legislative action.
“For too long, these families have suffered in silence. The collaborative work of this committee, in partnership with our Tribal Nations, will help move us closer to ending this epidemic of violence in Arizona,” said Representative Jermaine.
The committee membership will be comprised of four members each from the House of Representatives and the Senate who are of indigenous descent or who actively work on issues relating to indigenous peoples.
Other committee members include the State Attorney General, the Director of the Department of Public Safety, four attorneys and sheriffs from large and small counties, a victim advocate, peace officer, one representative from the Southwest Indigenous Women’s Coalition, a representative from the Phoenix or Tucson Indian Center, a representative from the Phoenix Area Indian Health Service, a tribal government representative, tribal chief of police, tribal social worker, and a representative from an organization that provides legal services to indigenous women and girls.
“We look forward to getting to work,” said Representative Jermaine.
Council Delegate Amber Kanazbah Crotty represents the chapters of Cove, Toadlena/Two Grey Hills, Red Valley, Tse'alnaozt'i'i', Sheepsprings, Beclabito, Gadiiahi/To'Koi. Council Delegate Eugene Tso represents the Chinle Chapter.