Interior and Justice Departments Outline Commitment, Next Steps in Effort to Address Missing and Murdered Indigenous Peoples and Human Trafficking Crisis

Last edited 03/05/2024

Date: Tuesday, March 5, 2024

WASHINGTON — The Departments of the Interior and Justice today released their response to the Not Invisible Act Commission’s recommendations on how to combat the missing or murdered Indigenous peoples and human trafficking crisis. The federal response recognizes that more must be done across the federal government to resolve this longstanding crisis and support healing from the generational traumas that Indigenous peoples have endured in the United States.  

“Addressing violent crimes against Indigenous peoples has long been underfunded and ignored, as a cause of intergenerational trauma that has affected our communities since colonization,” said Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland. “Through historic efforts like the Not Invisible Act Commission, we're identifying recommendations created by Indian Country, for Indian Country. This will ensure that epidemics like the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Peoples Crisis and Human Trafficking are addressed with the resources they demand.”   

“These recommendations are an important and necessary step toward healing the trauma, pain, and loss that Tribal communities have endured for generations,” said Attorney General Merrick B. Garland. “The Justice Department is committed to working with our partners at the Department of the Interior to put an end to the missing or murdered Indigenous persons and human trafficking crisis.  We are deeply grateful to the Not Invisible Act commissioners and the survivors and family members of victims who testified before the Commission about their heartbreaking experiences. Those testimonies and the Commission’s recommendations will continue to guide our work.” 

The Departments’ response addresses the Commission’s areas of concern including: 

  • Law enforcement & investigative resources 
  • Recruitment & retention of law enforcement 
  • Data collection and reporting 
  • Cross Jurisdictional coordination 
  • Family & survivor resources   
  • Improving Public safety resources 
  • Alaska-specific issues 

The Not Invisible Act Commission was created by the Not Invisible Act, led by Secretary Haaland during her time in Congress. The Commission included federal, state and Tribal law enforcement, Tribal leaders, federal partners, service providers, family members of missing and murdered individuals, and survivors. It developed recommendations on actions the federal government can take to help combat violent crime against Native American and Alaska Native people and on Tribal lands, and to address the epidemic of missing persons, murder and trafficking of American Indian and Alaska Native peoples, as specified under the law. 


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