Source: United States House of Representatives – Congresswoman Deb Haaland (NM-01)
Albuquerque, N.M. – Congresswoman Deb Haaland (NM-01) released the following statement after the President signed the Not Invisible Act and Savanna’s Act, two bills aimed at addressing the missing and murdered indigenous women’s crisis. The two bills become law as communities across the country get ready to celebrate Indigenous People’s Day in place of Columbus Day. The holiday seeks to recognize the indigenous people who thrived in the western hemisphere ahead of colonization, acknowledge the human rights atrocities, which are at the root of the MMIW crisis, and celebrate indigenous peoples’ contributions to the country.
“Everyone in this country deserves to feel safe in their communities, but a long history of violence against native people has led to the disappearance and murder of Native Americans at alarming rates. Today, we celebrate two huge steps to combat the missing and murdered indigenous women’s crisis, an effort led by survivors, activists, and Native women across the country. My Not Invisible Act Not Invisible Act and Representative Norma Torres’ Savanna’s Act are historic steps that will begin the long road ahead to finally stop our sisters, daughters, neighbors and friends from going missing without a trace,” said Congresswoman Deb Haaland.
The Not Invisible Act of 2019, is be the first bill in history to be introduced and passed by four members of federally recognized tribes: Deb Haaland (Pueblo of Laguna), Tom Cole (Chickasaw Nation), Sharice Davids (Ho-Chunk Nation), and Markwayne Mullin (Cherokee Nation). The Not Invisible Act creates an advisory committee on violent crime composed of law enforcement, tribal leaders, federal partners, service providers, and survivors to make recommendations to the Department of Interior and Department of Justice and provide best practices.
Speaker Pelosi also signed Savanna’s Act a bill led by U.S. Representative Norma Torres and co-led by Congresswoman Haaland named in honor of Savanna LaFontaine-Greywind, a 22-year old pregnant member of the Spirit Lake Tribe who was tragically murdered in August 2017. Savanna’s Act addresses the disturbing increase in murdered and missing Native American women by creating new guidelines for responding to such cases, and by incentivizing their implementation.
The Senate companion bills to Not Invisible Act and Savanna’s Act led by U.S. Senators Catherine Cortez Masto (D-Nev.) and Lisa Murkowski (R-Alaska), respectively, passed the Senate floor in March by unanimous consent, were taken up and passed by the U.S. House in September, and were signed by the President today.