Washington State Creates The Country’s First Alert System For Missing Indigenous People

Bestinau got that-

The bill, passed unanimously in both the House and Senate, emphasizes that “Indigenous people experience a disproportionate amount of violence in Washington state,” and calls for the creation of an advisory system, such as the AMBER Alert system.
“Compared to the rest of the state’s population, Indigenous women make up a disproportionate number of missing persons,” Inslee said at a signing ceremony. “In cases where a person has died, this bill will help families recover the remains of their loved ones while honoring and respecting indigenous cultural customs. For women who are found, this bill will provide treatment so they can begin living recovering from the trauma of their experience.”
According to the Washington State Patrol, 114 Indians are missing in Washington state on Monday. Native Americans make up nearly 2% of the state’s population.
Nationwide, there were 734 unsolved cases of missing Native Americans as of August 2021, according to data from the National Missing and Unidentified Persons System.

Angel Charley, head of the New Mexico-based Coalition To Stop Violence Against Native Women, praised the governor for signing the bill.

“For too long, Indigenous women across the country have demanded that resources and systems be put in place to prioritize the search for our community members. This legislation is doing just that,” Charley said, adding that she hopes for additional efforts in the whole country.

In November, President Joe Biden signed an executive order aimed at improving public safety and criminal justice for Native Americans. The order also addressed the issue of missing and murdered indigenous peoples.

Speaking at the ceremony, Democratic Representative Debra Lekanoff, a sponsor of the bill, said missing and murdered indigenous women and people “isn’t just an Indian issue, it’s not just an Indian responsibility. Our sisters, our aunts, our grandmothers are going missing every day.”

Inslee signed the bill, along with several other tribe-related bills, at the Tulalip Resort Casino.

The bill “removes the hand so we can hear the outrageous screams, it removes the hand of the Washington State Patrol. It brings all our governing bodies together to work together, to care for those who have been taken, those who have been” lost, and those are yet to come,” said Lekanoff.

For years, families and activists have demanded that authorities pay more attention and resources to cases of missing and murdered indigenous women, arguing that their cases are often overlooked or dismissed.

Federal and state officials have recently publicly acknowledged that there is a crisis of violence against Native Americans and have made efforts to address it, but proponents say their response is not enough.

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