Washington, DC – The Friends Committee on National Legislation (FCNL) applauded yesterday’s passage of both Savanna’s Act (H. R. 2733) and the Not Invisible Act of 2019 (H.R.2438) by the full House of Representatives.
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“At long last, Congress has passed bills to develop better law enforcement practices when it comes to crimes against American Indians and Alaska Natives. This begins the process of ensuring better public safety in tribal and urban Indian communities,” said Diane Randall, FCNL’s general secretary. “As a Quaker organization, we support legislation that honors the promises our country has made to Native Americans.”
Having previously passed the Senate, the bills will now go to the White House for the president’s signature.
“These bills improve two of the most problematic issues plaguing Native communities – coordination among law enforcement agencies and reporting practices,” said Kerri Colfer, FCNL’s Native American program congressional advocate. “A new crisis begins each time a Native woman goes missing. These crises are not limited to remote, rural tribal reservations. They affect Native Americans and their families living in all major American cities and states.”
Savanna’s Act (H.R. 2733) is named after Savanna LaFontaine Greywind, a pregnant Lakota woman who went missing only to be found brutally murdered in August 2017. Its goal is to improve the responses to missing and murdered Native women through coordination among tribal, federal, and local law enforcement agencies. It also requires data on missing and murdered Native people to be compiled and reported.
The Not Invisible Act (H.R. 2438) aims to address the crisis of missing and murdered Native people by creating an advisory committee on crime against American Indians and Alaska Natives to make recommendations to the Department of Justice and Department of Interior.
FCNL and several Native American organizations have been working to ensure both houses of Congress pass legislation to address the ongoing crisis of missing and murdered indigenous women throughout the United States. Native women and girls face a murder rate 10 times the national average, and more than 4 in 5 Native women have experienced violence.
To learn more, please visit www.fcnl.org.