Trump signs law addressing murdered, missing Native Americans
PHOENIX – Navajo Nation leaders commended President Donald Trump’s signing of a law that addresses cases of missing and murdered Native Americans.
Savanna’s Act, which is named for Savanna Greywind, passed the House last month after passing the Senate earlier this year.
Greywind, who was a member of the Spirit Lake Tribe, vanished from her apartment in Fargo, North Dakota, while she was eight months pregnant. Eight days after she disappeared, her body was found wrapped in plastic in the Red River and her baby was cut from her womb.
The bill was introduced by former North Dakota Sen. Heidi Heitkamp during the last Congress and was reintroduced by current Alaska Sen. Lisa Murkowski.
“We recognize and thank Congresswomen Deb Haaland and Sharice Davids, Sens. Lisa Murkowski and Catherine Cortez Masto, other members of Congress, tribal leaders and grassroot advocates who fought long and hard to push these important measures over the finish line to help bring an end to the ongoing losses of life, trauma and devastation caused by the missing persons crisis across our country,” Navajo Nation President Jonathan Nez said in a press release.
The law is meant to help police track, solve and prevent crimes against Native Americans. It directs the Departments of Justice and Interior to consult with American Indian tribes while developing national law enforcement guidelines.
Indigenous women face a murder rate ten times higher than the national average, 84% experiencing some form of violence in their lifetime, according to the release.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.