24th Navajo Nation Council
Madam Chair Amber Kanazbah Crotty and members of the 24th Navajo Nation Council share support for the recently launched ‘Missing or Murdered Indigenous Persons’ (MMIP) webpage as part of the Tribal Justice and Safety website for the U.S. Department of Justice (USDOJ).
The Missing or Murdered Indigenous Persons page details the U.S. Department of Justice's efforts to address the disproportionately high rates of violence experienced by Native Americans and the increasing rate of Indigenous women and LGBTQ+ individuals reported missing.
“The Navajo Nation is committed to uplifting federal civil rights laws to confront gender-based violence and to prosecute perpetrators of sexual assault. Through enforcement of our tribal and federal laws, we are working to empower survivors and reform unlawful systems that leave people vulnerable. It is the ultimate goal that we empower our Navajo law enforcement officers and families with the resources necessary to search and find our missing Diné relatives,” said Madam Chair Amber Kanazbah Crotty, Cove, Toadlena/Two Grey Hills, Red Valley, Tsé'ałnáoozt'i'í, Sheep Springs, Beclabito, Gad'ii'áhí/Tó Kǫ'í.
In November 2021, President Joe Biden signed an executive order to improve public safety and criminal justice services for Native Americans and address the growing epidemic of missing or murdered Indigenous people across the United States.
Under the leadership of Madam Chair Crotty, the Navajo Nation Council is working alongside the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) on a comprehensive community-based prevention plan to address the root causes of Missing or Murdered Indigenous Persons violence and work toward prevention.
“The Navajo Nation is determined to support our law enforcement officers and public safety personnel to implement Savanna’s Act and the Not Invisible Act properly. We fully support the steering committee in addressing this crisis of locating our missing family members and solving the countless cases of murdered Indigenous relatives across Indian Country. Now is the time for action, and the Navajo Nation stands ready,” said Speaker Seth Damon, Bááhaalí, Chichiltah, Manuelito, Red Rock, Rock Springs, Tséyatoh.
The Department of Justice, Interior, U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, and Homeland Security Departments are now committed to working with tribal communities to promote public safety and awareness concerning the greater Missing or Murdered Indigenous Persons movement.
Under the Operation Lady Justice Task Force, tribal consultation meetings were hosted to develop best practice guidelines and resources for Native communities and law enforcement, as well as families, victims, and service providers. This includes a guide for families and loved ones to respond when an Indigenous relative goes missing.
“It is time to seek justice and to find our missing relatives. Indian Country continues to lead the way in forming Missing or Murdered Indigenous Relatives policy workgroups, conducting outreach, and education. We have to create a central database to help with unsolved cases. Our partnership with the Justice and Interior Departments ensures we are on the same page to end this epidemic of missing or murdered Native people,” said Council Delegate Charlaine Tso, Mexican Water, Tółikan, Teec Nos Pos, Aneth, Red Mesa.
The Department of Justice reported that Native Americans face some of the highest rates of violence in the country, experiencing violent crime at higher rates than the national average. Native women and girls experience disproportionately high rates of sexual and gender-based violence, including intimate partner violence.
It is also stated that Native men experience higher rates of violence than other demographic groups, while the LGBTQ+ community is also a target of physical violence as well.
A comprehensive Missing or Murdered Indigenous Persons plan will be submitted to the White House by July 2022. Additional information can be accessed at: https://www.justice.gov/tribal/mmip