#AceNewsReport – Jan.08: In 2018 alone, more than two dozen Native Americans — the majority of them women — went missing in sparsely populated Montana, according to US Senator Jon Tester: “We’re here today because we have an epidemic on our hands,” Tester said during a Senate Indian Affairs Committee hearing last month. “Native Americans in Montana and across this country are dealing with violence at a much higher rate than the rest of the population … you cannot set foot in Indian country without hearing a heartbreaking story about this growing problem #AceNewsDesk reports
“Twenty-four doesn’t sound like a lot, but in a state of a million people if you (projected) that out through the (overall) population, that would be a ton of folks,” he added. “We gotta find a solution to this.” Tester and another Senator from Montana, Steve Daines, say they will reintroduce a bill that would require the Department of Justice to overhaul law enforcement protocols and improve data collection regarding slain or missing Native Americans.
The hearing before the Senate committee last month included testimony from Kimberly Loring-Heavy Runner, whose sister, Ashley, 20, went missing in June 2017: Ashley, a member of the Blackfeet tribe, still has not been found………..“I’m here today to stress to you that I believe law enforcement did not take Ashley’s case seriously, as well as other girls that have gone missing and been murdered in Indian country,” Loring-Heavy Runner said.
“Where’s the problem? Is it with BIA, is it with the FBI, is it with tribal law enforcement?” Tester wondered aloud at the December 12 hearing: “Why are we not finding these people? We would have a different reaction if this was a non-native.”
“There is an unacceptable level of violent crime and domestic abuse in American Indian and Alaska Native communities,” said Deputy Associate Attorney General Jesse Panuccio at the time. “We are committed to reducing violent crime and improving public safety.”
Published: January.07: 2018: