U.S. SENATE — This week, the U.S. Senate passed Senator Steve Daines’ bill to recognize May 5th as the National Day of Awareness for Missing and Murdered Native Women and Girls.
Daines introduced the legislation to honor the memory of Hanna Harris, a member of the Northern Cheyenne Tribe who was murdered in July 2013. The resolution commemorates the lives of all American Indian and Alaska Native women and girls who have gone missing or been murdered.
“Tragically, Hanna Harris is just one of the many native women who go missing or are senselessly murdered,” said Daines. “We must do more to call attention to this epidemic and protect vulnerable communities.”
Epidemic of Missing or Murdered Native Women:
• According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in 2015, homicide ranged from the second to seventh leading cause of death for American Indian and Alaska Native females between 1 and 39 years of age.
• During this time, homicide remained a leading cause of death for most American Indian and Alaska Native females between 40 and 64 years of age.
• According to the Department of Justice, in some tribal communities, American Indian women face murder rates that are more than 10 times the national average.
On April 19, 2018, Daines led a bipartisan group of senators in sending a letter to Attorney General Jeff Sessions in response to a Department of Justice Inspector General report, urging the department of Justice to uphold its responsibilities to Indian tribes and implement the recommendations outlined in that report as quickly as possible.
On April 13, 2018, Daines’ bill to help relocate children who go missing through AMBER Alert systems became law.
On February 14, 2018, Daines sponsored and supported the U.S. Senate Committee on Indian Affairs’ passage of the Tribal Law and Order Reauthorization and Amendments Act, which included Daines’ bipartisan legislation to promote tribes’ access to national criminal databases.
In February 2018, Daines led a bipartisan coalition of his colleagues in introducing a resolution to designate May 5 as the National Day of Awareness for Missing and Murdered Native Women and Girls.
On December 21, 2017, Daines introduced bipartisan legislation, the Mitigating the Methamphetamine Epidemic and Promoting Tribal Health Act, or the Mitigating METH Act, to combat methamphetamine use across Montana and strengthen Indian tribes’ ability to fight this epidemic.
On December 6, 2017, Daines’ bipartisan legislation, the Securing Urgent Resources Vital to Indian Victim Empowerment (SURVIVE) Act, passed the Senate Committee on Indian Affairs. This bill strengthens services for victims of crime in Indian country.
On May 5, 2017, Daines joined with the family of Hanna Harris to mark the National Day of Awareness for Missing and Murdered Native Women and Girls as designated by his Senate resolution.
On May 4, 2017, Daines spoke on the floor of the U.S. Senate to mark the National Day of Awareness for Missing and Murdered Native Women and Girls.
In the spring of 2017, Daines spoke at the National Indigenous Women’s Resource Center briefing. The organization is based out of Billings, Montana.
In 2017, Daines introduced and secured U.S. Senate unanimous passage of a resolution recognizing May 5th as the National Day of Awareness for Missing and Murdered Native Women and Girls. The resolution honors the memory of Hanna Harris, a member of the Northern Cheyenne Tribe who was murdered in July 2013.
In April 2016, Daines led an amendment to the Commerce, Justice, and Science appropriations bill to set-aside five percent of the Crime Victims Fund for Indian tribes.