New Missing and Murdered Indigenous Persons pilot project announced in Tulsa

Collaborator: Brittany Harlow
Published: 11/24/2020, 9:45 AM
Edited: 03/11/2021, 10:22 AM
(TULSA, Okla.) U.S. Attorneys and Native Americans tribes are coming together to develop and implement new missing person protocols for indigenous people. Muscogee (Creek) Nation Chief David Hilland and Cherokee Nation Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr. joined U.S. Attorneys Trent Shores and Brian Kuester in Tulsa on Monday to make the announcement. “The first step in achieving justice for missing and murdered Native Americans was acknowledging the injustice of any historical indifference to or neglect of these tragic cases. Now, it is time for action to tackle this crisis head-on,” U.S. Attorney Trent Shores said. “I am proud to partner with the Muscogee (Creek) Nation and Cherokee Nation to announce the first of its kind pilot project to develop and implement protocols and community action plans for missing and murdered indigenous people cases. The Department of Justice continues to prioritize public safety in Indian country, especially when it comes to reducing the violent crime rates that seem to disproportionately impact Native American women and children.” The pilot project will implement a Tribal Community Response Plan with the two nations, in accordance with Attorney General William P. Barr’s Missing and Murdered Indigenous Persons (MMIP) Initiative. “We are unquestionably at our strongest when partnering with agencies and tribes working toward our shared goal, and that is enhancing public safety and protection for those who need it most,” Muscogee (Creek) Nation Principal Chief David Hill said. “Unfortunately, we know all too well the challenges we face and the trends we must reverse regarding Missing and Murdered Indigenous People. We feel these types of collaborations, in which our input is sought and utilized to craft culturally specific guidelines, are the best path forward and we can’t wait to get started.” “Today’s new Missing and Murdered Indigenous Persons Pilot Program is an important partnership with the United States Department of Justice, and will further a goal that we all share: to protect Cherokees on the reservation and bring missing Cherokees home to their families and communities,” Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Chuck Hoskin Jr. said. “When one of our Cherokee citizens is hurt or missing, it’s an emergency. And now this pilot program will help pool our focus and resources on these cases with immediate, coordinated and professional response plans.” We’re told the U.S. Department of Justice and other federal agencies developed draft guides for developing this kind of plan in conjunction with tribal leaders, law enforcement and tribal communities. Each plan addresses law enforcement, victim services, community outreach and communications. Oklahoma is the first of six states to launch such a pilot project.


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