UPDATED 7:50 PM PT – Thursday, April 1, 2021
The Justice Department unveiled a new plan to address the ongoing problem of missing and murdered Native Americans in Montana. According to reports, officials are mobilizing local and federal resources to expand tribes’ investigative capabilities. However, the new plan does not apply to tribal citizens who go missing outside the reservation.
The situation is especially alarming in states such as Montana, which have large Native American populations. Native Americans make up less than 7% of Montana’s population but account for 25% of reported missing person cases. @MikeBalsamo1 @iris_samuels https://t.co/SHiSMP8Q7H
— Colleen Long (@ctlong1) April 1, 2021
Reports found Native Americans only make up seven percent of Montana’s population, but 25 percent of missing person cases. Justice officials said they hope to boost their communication with local authorities.
Browning man admits murder, kidnapping on Blackfeet Indian Reservation https://t.co/9bfS36DP4w
— US Attorney Montana (@USAO_MT) March 30, 2021
“The tragedy of missing and murdered indigenous people is a harsh reality that native people face today,” Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes Chairwoman Shelly Fyant said. “Unfortunately, no tribal nation has gone untouched by this crisis. Through the efforts of a few dedicated Salish and Kootenai tribal staff and leadership, we worked with outside agencies in a collaborative process to develop the first tribal community response plan.”
The Department of Justice officials said their focus will be on areas with overlapping jurisdictions.