The Minnesota Department of Public Safety announced it now has a leader of its newly-established department, Missing and Murdered Indigenous Relatives.
This office is the first of its kind in the nation and will be led by Juliet Rudie, a lifelong Minnesota resident and tribal member of the Lower Sioux Indian Community.
The MMIR office is housed within the DPS Office of Justice Programs.
The office will work with the 11 sovereign tribal nations in Minnesota; local, state and federal branches of law enforcement, as well as other government agencies and advocacy groups.
Rudie has 28 years of experience in public safety, beginning as a St. Paul patrol officer in 1990, working various divisions including juvenile and missing persons investigation. She moved onto Ramsey County Sheriff’s Office in 2011, working as an inspector, an undersheriff and as a chief deputy.
“The Missing and Murdered Indigenous Relatives Office continues the work of addressing the root causes of the epidemic of violence faced by Native women, girls, and two-spirit relatives,” said Governor Tim Walz.
“Ms. Juliet Rudie brings a wealth of experience to this role and this office to help coordinate the efforts of tribal nations, law enforcement, federal and state agencies, and communities, so we can ultimately end this crisis.”
“For far too long, Native women and girls, men and boys, and two-spirit relatives have been disproportionately impacted by violence. It is through generations of advocacy from elders, mothers, sisters, and friends that we are able to launch the first-of-its-kind Missing and Murdered Indigenous Relatives Office, now under the leadership of Ms. Juliet Rudie,” said Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan.
“We have made critical strides in the last few years in Minnesota to better address and disrupt these cycles of violence, and I look forward to the MMIR Office making more progress under the direction of Ms. Rudie.”
“We need to shine a light on the epidemic of missing and murdered Indigenous people and seek justice for Native Americans,” said DPS Commissioner John Harrington.
“Ms. Rudie will lead the work of this new office to promote the empowerment of Native American women and pursue safeguards for Native American women, relatives, and children. The programs and services will foster safety, equity, healing, civil and human rights of Indigenous peoples and communities in Minnesota.”
The first-in-the-nation MMIR office was a recommendation of the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women’s Task Force, which found that while Native Americans make up 1 percent of Minnesota’s population, they account for approximately 9 percent of all murdered girls and women in the state during the last decade. Anywhere from 27 to 54 Indigenous women and girls were missing in Minnesota in any given month from 2012 to 2020.
Legislation to establish the MMIR office was signed into law by Governor Tim Walz in 2021. The office will also help develop and implement future legislation and transformative social justice policies.