By: News Intern Katherine Jones
ST. PAUL- Governor Tim Walz and Lieutenant Governor Peggy Flanagan launched the first meeting of the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women Task Force with a ceremonial bill signing that brought together advocates, tribal representatives, law enforcement, and elected officials in their commitment to end violence against Indigenous women.
Of the nearly 6,000 cases of missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls reported in 2016, only 116 were logged in the Department of Justice’s database.
“Native women and girls are subject to violent crime at alarmingly high rates, and we’re taking action to end this disproportionate epidemic,” said Governor Walz. “That’s why we established a task force to examine the root causes of this violence, collect better data, and provide support to Native families who are caught up in this nightmare.”
The primary duties of the Task Force are to advise the Commissioner of Public Safety; to serve as a liaison between the Commissioner of Public Safety, agencies, and organizations that provide legal, social, or other community services; and to report recommendations to the Legislature on how to reduce and end violence against Indigenous women and girls in Minnesota. The law requires them to provide this report by December 15, 2020.